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Supporting local decision-making

Many countries have identified primary health care as an urgent priority, but they lack the data needed to pinpoint weaknesses, understand the causes of weakness and drive improvements.

Better data is essential to improve health outcomes, yet routinely available data for the monitoring of progress are often of low quality. Even where rich data sources are available, there can be limited capacity to synthesise, interpret and learn from the data.

IDEAS works to support local decision-making in Nigeria, Ethiopia and India.

In Nigeria, IDEAS has worked with the Gombe State Primary Health Care Development Agency and partners to implement six-monthly Data-driven Learning Workshops designed to continuously examine progress and promote data-informed decision making.

In Ethiopia, building on lessons learned during a prototype phase in West Bengal, India, IDEAS implements the Data-Informed Platform for Health (DIPH). – The DIPH is a structured method combining a toolkit with facilitated discussions and action planning. This involves a five-step cycle running every 3-4 months at district level. Standardized job-aids facilitate linking of input and process data from health and other sectors onto a common data-sharing platform. Government and non-government stakeholders analyse the data, identify challenges and gaps and agree on measures to be taken to resolve issues.

Published content

Journal article
Commentary-District decision-making to strengthen maternal, newborn and child health services in low-income settings

Commentary to accompany a series of four papers on the use of data for district decision-making for health in low-income settings, published in Health Policy and Planning.

Journal article
District decision-making for health in low-income settings: a feasibility study of a data-informed platform for health in India, Nigeria and Ethiopia

A study of the feasibility of using a data informed platform for health in a district health systems context in five districts of India, Nigeria and Ethiopia.

Journal article
District decision-making for health in low-income settings: a systematic literature review

A systematic literature review investigating the ways in which district administrators and health managers in low- and lower-middle-income countries use health data to make decisions.

Journal article
District decision-making for health in low-income settings: a case study of the potential of public and private sector data in India and Ethiopia

A study documenting the nature and type of data collected by the public and private health systems, data flow and sharing, use and inter-sectoral linkages in India and Ethiopia.

Journal article
District decision-making for health in low-income settings: a qualitative study in Uttar Pradesh, India, on engaging the private health sector in sharing health-related data

An assessment of the extent of maternal, newborn and child health-related data sharing between the private and public sectors in two districts of Uttar Pradesh, India; analysing barriers to data sharing; and identifying the key inputs required.

Journal article
Linkages between public and non-government sectors in healthcare: a case study from Uttar Pradesh, India

A study of the links between the public health system and two NGOs in Uttar Pradesh, showing frequent interaction and some reciprocity in information and resource flows, but weak participation in policy and planning.