The mission of the Collaborative and the HIS geo-enabling framework

The mission of the Health GeoLab Collaborative is to facilitate the implementation of the HIS geo-enabling framework across low and middle income countries in Asia and the Pacific for them to fully benefit from the power of geography, geospatial data, and technologies.

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:

  1. A clear vision, strategy(ies), and action plan for the management and use of geospatial data and technologies have been defined. 
  2. A governance structure supporting the vision, startegy(ies), and action plan has been established.
  3. Enough technical capacity has been developed. 
  4. 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.
  5. The master lists for the core geographic objects (health facilities, administrative divisions and villages and reporting divisions) and their associated hierarchies and geospatial data have been developed, made accessible, and an updating mechanism put in place for each of them through the use of a common geo-registry
  6. The appropriate geospatial technologies have been identified and are being used in accordance with good geospatial data management practices.
  7. Use cases supporting health programs (communicable diseases surveillance, malaria elimination, health service coverage, disaster management,…) towards reaching SDG 3 are being implemented and documented
  8. Policies supporting and enforcing all of the above as well as geospatial data accessibility have been released.
  9. The necessary resources to ensure long term sustainability have been identified and secured.

Examples of in-country implementation

Thanks to ADB’s support, the HIS geo-enabling framework is currently being implemented in three countries: Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

The Department of Public Health of the Ministry of Health and Sports of Myanmar has been the first country to implement the HIS geo-enabling framework and this to support the implementation of the National Health Plan (NHP) 2017–2021. The following material describes the process that has been followed and results that have been obtained:

The project is now in its institutionalization phase. The geo-enablement of the HIS has been included in the Strategic Action Plan for Strengthening Health Information 2017-2021 and partners such as the World Bank and UNICEF are currently contributing to the strengthening and sustainability of the technical capacity that has been established.

In Cambodia, the geo-enabling of the HIS is taking place as part of the implementation of the Health Information System Master Plan 2016-2020 under the umbrella of the Health Strategic Plan 2016-2020.  The master plan contains 11 key activities under Strategy 2.6, activities that have been implemented as part of a pilot project which ended in March 2018. The institutionalization phase has started since then. The following material describes the process that has been followed and results that have been obtained:

The HIS geo-enabling process in Vietnam took place between 2017 and 2018. The process aimed at strengthening the technical capacities of several entities across the Ministry of Health when it comes to the management and use of geospatial data and technologies to support the implementation of different public health programs (E-health Administration (EHA), the General Department of Preventive Medicine (GDPM), the Department of Planning and Finance (DPF), the Vietnam Administrative of Medical Services (VAMS), and the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology, and Entomology (NIMPE). A pilot project aiming at demonstrating the benefits of the geo-enablement to support the implementation of circular 54 on the mechanism for notification, reporting, and declaration of communicable diseases. The description of the implementation and results obtained during the pilot project can be found in the following media: