Strengthening Data Use
At Akros, we believe that data should not just be collected, but more importantly, be used to make strategic and effective programmatic decisions that save more lives. Akros supports the identification and application of data for programmatic and policy decision making across multiple projects.
Akros has worked with Ministry of Health officials in over forty districts in Zambia to map health facilities and outline each facility’s catchment area, greatly improving visibility into the district’s population distribution. We’ve also used publicly available geographic datasets on human settlement along with planning guidelines developed by Akros to inform IRS microplanning.
Under the USAID-funded Zambian Systems for Better Health project, Akros seconded Data Use Officers (DUOs) to six Provincial offices in order to improve data use at subnational levels. These DUOs worked one-on-one with provincial and district level team members to help transform the way data is accessed, discussed, and applied in the management of health programs. The DUOs started by training district and provincial program officers on how to access data in the national HMIS (previously only information officers were allowed to access data) so that they could become more familiar with the available data. From there, the DUOs relied heavily on an automated feedback loop – a scorecard – that Akros built into the national DHIS2 instance as well as custom dashboards to begin deeper conversations on health sector performance against targets and by geographic areas and within specific health facilities. Through this work, the DUOs trained and supported over 250 officers in 6 provinces.