Informed decisions for actions in maternal and newborn health

Resource Hub: The Data-Informed Platform for Health

Resource Hub: The Data-Informed Platform for Health

What is a Data-Informed Platform for Health?

In low-resource settings the use of local data for health system planning and decision-making is often limited. What data there is may be of poor quality and a data sharing culture is lacking. Health administrators often have limited capacity to analyse and use data for decision-making.

The overall aim of the Data-Informed Platform for Health (DIPH) is to improve Maternal and Newborn Child Health (MNCH) programmes and services at state and sub-state levels. The DIPH brings together key district-level data on inputs and processes.

The specific objective of the DIPH at the district level is to promote the use of local data for decision-making, priority-setting and planning through the introduction of structured decision-making process.

In working to transform the DIPH from a concept to a health systems initiative, the IDEAS project undertook a series of implementation research activities including, a background assessment and the development and testing of the intervention.

In the Health Policy and Planning Journal ( - Volume 31, suppl 2, September 2016) IDEAS reported on the feasibility of establishing the DIPH in the context of district health systems in India, Nigeria and Ethiopia, taking into consideration five dimensions: technology and systems, economics, law and politics, operations and schedule feasibility.

The DIPH Prototype in West Bengal, India

IDEAS worked in collaboration with Public Health Foundation of India to test the DIPH in two districts of West Bengal State - South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas - which have a population of 18 million people. The West Bengal University of Health Sciences is a local partner in this initiative. Continuous monitoring of data and an evaluation of the prototype phase will be used to adapt and scale-up the DIPH across West Bengal. 

Action research has been planned to adapt the DIPH approach for implementation in Ethiopia, where the IDEAS project is also active.

This resource hub brings together all of the materials and resources currently available.

Introducing the Data-Informed Platform for Health
Meeting the challenge of local decision-making for Maternal and Newborn Health in West Bengal, India

Your guide to the Data-Informed Platform for Health
This animation provides the who, what, why and where of the DIPH, how the DIPH works and how the concept was developed through research by IDEAS and its partners.

The Data-Informed Platform for Health in West Bengal 
This film documents some of the experiences of the key stakeholders involved in the DIPH prototype phase in West Bengal, India, over 2016 and 2017. 

Journal Supplement - Volume 31, suppl 2, September 2016
An IDEAS supplement in the Journal of Health Policy and Planning on district decision-making to strengthen maternal, newborn and child health services in low-income settings.

A podcast co-produced with the Journal of Health Policy and Planning to coincide with the publication of the IDEAS supplement. Also listen here.

Monitoring Reports
The monitoring of the DIPH implementation process focused on four themes: (i) Utilisation of data at district level (ii) Interaction among stakeholders such as cooperation in decision-making, planning and implementation (iii) Follow-up to ensure accomplishment of action points (iv) Sustainability perspective by the DIPH stakeholders.

These nine reports evaluate how the DIPH prototype phase performed in relation to the four themes. They cover each of the three health districts that participated in the prototype phase (South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas and Diamond Harbour) over the three cycles of the prototype phase.

South 24 Parganas, Cycle 1
February - July 2016
North 24 Parganas - Cycle 1
January - April 2016
Diamond Harbour, Cycle 1
March - June 2016


South 24 Parganas, Cycle 2
July - November 2016
North 24 Parganas, Cycle 2
May - September 2016
Diamond Harbour, Cycle 2
June - November 2016


South 24 Parganas - Cycle 3
September 2016 – March 2017
North 24 Parganas - Cycle 3
October 2016 – March 2017
Diamond Harbour - Cycle 3
September 2016 – March 2017