The Health GeoLab implements projects and conducts activities aligned with the HIS geo-enabling framework.
The HIS geo-enabling framework is composed of nine (9) elements that need to be in place for a Health Information System (HIS) to be considered as geo-enabled, namely:
- A clear vision, strategy, and action plan for the management and use of geospatial data and technologies have been defined.
- A governance structure supporting the vision, strategy(ies), and action plan has been established.
- Sufficient technical capacity has been developed.
- Geospatial data specifications, standards, and protocols have been defined and are being implemented to ensure the availability and quality (completeness, uniqueness, timeliness, validity, accuracy, and consistency) of geographic information across the whole data lifecycle.
- The master lists for the core geographic objects (health facilities, administrative divisions, villages, and reporting divisions) and their associated hierarchies and geospatial data have been developed and made accessible; and an updating mechanism put in place for each of them using a Common Geo-Registry (CGR).
- The appropriate geospatial technologies have been identified and are being used in accordance with good geospatial data management practices.
- Use cases supporting health programs (communicable disease surveillance, malaria elimination, health service coverage, disaster management, etc.) towards reaching SDG 3 are being implemented and documented
- Policies supporting and enforcing all the above as well as geospatial data accessibility have been released.
- The necessary resources to ensure long term sustainability have been identified and secured.
The approach followed by the Health GeoLab Hub when implementing projects or conducting activities consists of:
- Conducting in-country research as well as providing technical assistance and M&E services that are tailored to address each country’s specific needs and capacity
- Providing long term “coaching” instead of one-off training events through the institutionalization of supporting capacity at both the regional and national levels.
- Facilitating the organization of training with professionals when needed
- Developing and maintaining freely accessible reference and training materials
- Facilitating knowledge sharing and transfer through a global community of practice, regional events, and knowledge repository.
- Establishing partnerships to facilitate access to, and use of, geospatial data and technologies; and
- Maintaining a directory of experts dealing with the management and use of geospatial data and technologies across the Region.