The Health GeoLab Collaborative is born from the lessons learned during the first year of operation (June 2016-August 2017) of the Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN) GIS Lab established with the support of ADB, WHO, UNICEF, and Esri.

The quick HIS geo-enabling assessment survey conducted by the AeHIN GIS Lab in preparation for the Digital Health Conference and 5th AeHIN General Meeting (Naypyitaw, March 2017) demonstrated that, while all the 13 countries that answered the survey have some GIS capacity and have been using it to produce thematic maps, other elements key to a sustainable geo-enablement of their HIS were lacking.

While it has been possible for the AeHIN GIS Lab to improve the geo-enablement of the HIS in Myanmar and Cambodia (still ongoing in Vietnam) over that same period, the task remains too big for a single entity to fill the gaps observed across the Region in the limited amount of time available to reach the health-related SDGs.

The establishment of the Health GeoLab Collaborative to bring together a larger number of institutions and individuals sharing a common vision and ready to engage their respective skills, experience, and resources in the implementation of the HIS geo-enabling framework was the cost-effective solution to fill this gap.

The thinking and process having led to the establishment of the AeHIN GIS Lab and then of the Health GeoLab Collaborative are described in details in the following two ADB briefs:

  1.  The geography of Universal Health Coverage
  2.  Building capacity for geo-enabling health information systems: supporting equitable health services and well being for all