Bridging the gap between human resources and services data through the integration of DHIS2, Health Maps, and iHRIS in Senegal

Background: The objective of the integration of DHIS2, iHRIS and the Senegal Health Map is to improve public health service provision by informing and enabling evidence-based decision-making.

The context of our project is marked by the insufficiency of data collected on human resources in DHIS2, the lack of visibility on the compliance of human resources with the standards defined in the country’s health map and finally a fragmentation of the health information system and its governance.

BAO Systems evaluated various sub-systems within the health information system architecture to identify key tools used, and then use a “proof of concept” methodology to demonstrate on a small scale (3 out of 14 regions) how sub-systems would be integrated, with what tools, and how the resulting data can be used.

The first step was to jointly, with the Ministry of Health, develop an analysis plan that combines analysis questions and informs the data sources to be integrated. An architecture for the integration was also defined with the Ministry.

Thereafter, we aligned the metadata between DHIS2, iHRIS and Health Map. The BAO Analytics Platform (AP) was used to carry out the integration. Once the data are pulled into the AP and pushed back into DHIS2, we built analytical products and dashboards in DHIS2 for visualization and analysis of data to support decision making.

Strengthening the capacities of the Ministry’s teams was an important step in this project, to ensure its success but also its sustainability. Self-paced courses have been developed by BAO Systems to promote independent learning. These courses were combined with monthly capacity building and deep-dive sessions.

We encountered various challenges related to governance, compliance with local data protection laws and stakeholders’ engagement during the implementation.
System integration is often regarded as a purely technical process, whereas the reality requires a high degree of input and engagement to inform the design, use cases, and governance of the integration solution and ensure it is fit for purpose and meets the needs of different users at the MoH.

While increasing data demand is the focus of the next phase, a key lesson learnt is the importance of obtaining stakeholder buy-in and engagement throughout the project, understanding of local regulations regarding data protection, and formalizing requirements from stakeholders at the MoH early in the project.

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