Strengthening Health Information Systems in Zambia
In Zambia, health care systems are decentralized, and points of care often remain inadequate to serve the population. Primarily, health care facilities are government-run but lack building capacity and funding, meaning that health care is not always available to people who need it most. Additionally, short life expectancy and maternal and child health care continue to be among the country’s most threatening health issues.
To support Zambia on its journey to offer more and better health care to their citizens, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is funding the Evaluate for Health (E4H) program to strengthen Zambia’s health management information systems (HMIS). Together with our partners—the University of Maryland-Baltimore, Health Information Systems Program (HISP) South Africa, and HISP Zambia—Tetra Tech is working to improve the quality, timeliness, and accessibility of HMIS data at all levels of the health care system, from health facility to the national government level.
We are developing and providing a comprehensive program of support for HMIS policy and standards, data quality assurance and improvement, and training. E4H also is focused on strengthening HMIS component interoperability and knowledge management to share learning across all stakeholders.
Our efforts aim to strengthen Zambia’s research community and institutions in conducting monitoring and evaluation (M&E), including innovative research among junior researchers to contribute to the overall evidence base. The project will help provide evidence to inform and improve health programming on topics including HIV/AIDS, nutrition, family planning, maternal and child health, and malaria.
Ultimately, our approach intends to strengthen the capacity of two local institutions to provide support to the Government of Zambia long after the project has ended: HISP-Zambia for HMIS strengthening and the National Health Research Authority (NHRA) for national health research policy and capacity building.
The project also will support USAID in expanding their internal evidence base through improving and expanding implementing partners’ contribution of data and learning to inform decision-making.
This project builds upon our successful work on the Ghana Evaluate for Health project. There, we have built a thriving M&E community of practice and helped to create sustainable systems to support future M&E, including the successful rollout of an e-tracker system to collect client transaction data at the community and subdistrict levels.