The Collaborative mission 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 an Health Information System (HIS) to be considered as geo-enabled, namely:
- A clear vision, strategy, and plan have been defined on the basis of an assessment.
- A governance structure has been initiated.
- A minimum technical capacity has been established.
- 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 geospatial information across the whole data lifecycle.
- The master lists for the core geographic objects (health facilities, administrative divisions and villages and reporting divisions) and their associated geography have been developed, made accessible, and an updating mechanism put in place for each of them through the use of a common geo-registry.
- The appropriate geospatial technologies have been identified and are being used in accordance to good geospatial data management practices.
- Use cases supporting health programs (communicable diseases surveillance, malaria elimination, health service coverage, disaster management,…) towards reaching SDG 3 are being implemented and documented
- Policies supporting and enforcing all of the above as well as geospatial data accessibility have been released.
- 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 description of the process that has been followed and results that have been obtained so far can be fund in the following media
- Case study flyer
- Story map
- Box 2 of the brief on building capacity for geo-enabling health information systems
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 being currently implemented as part of a pilot project to finish by March 2018. The institutionalization phase will start after that.
The HIS geo-enabling process in Vietnam stated in 2017. At this stage, the process aims at strengthening the technical capacities of several entities across the Ministry of Health when it comes to the management and use of geospaital data and technologies to support the implementation of different public health programs. A pilot project involving the 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 Malaria, Parasitology, and Entomology (NIMPE) is currently being implemented in this regards and is expected to be finalized by May 2018.