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Decision-making processes in the health sector are complex and require coordination and data-sharing among multiple departments. This study assesses such processes at district level in West Bengal, India with a focus on the extent of local data-use for decision-making, planning and resource allocation for maternal and child health.

The study authors show that districts have a decision-making structure, including representatives of all relevant government departments, and resources available to support local plans. However, a well-defined decision-making process is lacking, and there are limited interactions between departments for formal data sharing. These findings are based on qualitative data collected through direct observations of meetings and interviews with key informants.

The analysis revealed that although data are available from the health information management system on the issues discussed during meetings, decisions are not necessarily based on a review of such data.

The authors conclude that existing local data is highly under-used for decision-making at the district level and that there is strong potential for better interaction between departments and better use of data for priority-setting, planning and follow-up.


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Dr Bilal Avan

Associate Professor

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Professor Joanna Schellenberg

IDEAS Co-Principal Investigator and Professor