A letter to The Lancet from Ms Gabriela Cueva and Dr Justin...
The Health Data Collaborative has launched its first progress report since it started work in 2016. Full of highlights, lessons learned and perspectives, this report demonstrates the growing appetite for stronger country health information systems.
The Health Data Collaborative is an important initiative relating to UHC2030. Data is a critical component for achieving the health-related sustainable development goals and UHC, and HDC underpins comprehensive health systems strengthening initiatives and promotes collective action for improving country data systems.
The Health Data Collaborative (HDC) was launched in March 2016, based on a common diagnosis of a global problem: global and country investments in strengthening country health information systems need to become more efficient in order to meet the challenge of monitoring the health and health-related SDGs and to contribute to sustainable development of national systems. Spurred by the Five Point Call to Action on health measurement and accountability, this is being pursued through:
1. Support for greater alignment of investments in national health information systems; and
2. Increased impact of global public goods through more harmonization and coherence of tools, methods and approaches by partners.
One year since the HDC launch, momentum is growing. With high-level government leadership driving success in Kenya and Malawi, the Collaborative is attracting demand from a growing number of countries seeking to engage the HDC approach to strengthening national health information systems. The Collaborative is increasingly becoming recognised as the global platform for collaboration around health data policy and information sharing, as it links up with and underpins the data efforts of an increasing number of partner initiatives.
Some key country highlights from the report include:
Kenya has been at the forefront of the Health Data Collaborative approach, rallying all key partners and donors behind a roadmap of national priorities to monitor UHC and the SDGs.
In Malawi, donors are aligning behind the Ministry of Health’s single data platform and digital health investment plan, thereby moving away from the fragmented silos of disease- and donor driven data reporting systems.
There is growing demand for the HDC approach from countries. Cameroon’s Ministry of Health and health partners launched the Cameroon HDC in December 2016, and a Tanzania HDC will follow in July 2017. Myanmar, Indonesia, Nigeria, Senegal and Nepal are among countries that have also expressed interest in engaging the HDC approach.