HIV: tracker innovations and adaptations for longitudinal analysis

Part of the HIV: tracker innovations and adaptations for longitudinal analysis DAC2021 Session: Wednesday 23nd June 14:00

If you are attending the DHIS2 Annual Conference, more details on this session are available here.

If you have not yet registered to the DHIS2 Annual Conference, do not hesitate to visit the DHIS2 Annual Conference website and secure your spot!

Jenny Mwanza, MPH, Data.FI, Palladium and Muhammad Salihu, Data.FI, BAO Systems prepared this presentation.

In addition to USAID/PEPFAR required monitoring, evaluation and essential survey (MER) indicators, orphan and vulnerable children (OVC) programs are being asked to report on additional custom indicators to provide new insights into the HIV risk assessment and clinical care cascades. Many implementing partners (IPs) are choosing DHIS2 as the platform to monitor their data longitudinally and across sub-partners and geographic regions. Given the high complexity of some OVC indicators, the formulation and visualization of these indicators challenges the capacity of the standard DHIS2 functions, often requiring innovative, customized solutions.

We will discuss our experience developing a DHIS2 instance in Zimbabwe for the USAID Mission under the Data.FI project (2019-2024) with the aim of leveraging data to improve the health and well-being of OVC living in PEPFAR priority districts for HIV epidemic control. We engaged with five IPs in country to map their data collection processes, align indicator definitions with the aim of producing a harmonized system to be used for all IPs for case management and real-time reporting to USAID. Two challenges encountered were related to the 1) calculation of the participant status which combines data that is both cumulative and point-in-time and 2) presentation of performance by sub-partners, in addition to geographic organizational units while using the Tracker module.

Creative solutions were developed which may be leveraged by others seeking to seeking to use DHIS2 for monitoring performance, reporting, and possibly developing a longitudinal case management system for performance monitoring and reporting to ensure visualizations accurately inform evidence-based decision making.


Some challenges faced include:

  1. Scripting required to complement DHIS 2 functions e.g. need to copy over data element value from a TEI to another related TEI using a different tracked entity type; need to consolidate data from various program stages into one program stage without regards to event date but rather data element dates; lastly a workaround for scheduling future events for specific org units
  2. Tracker-aggregate integration process: Changing aggregate data values may require removing old values before integration/synchronising values from tracker
  3. Mapping of indicators is labour intensive; made easier by piloting the PDAC app (by Pete Linnegan)

Questions during the session (from the zoom chat):

From @LMuyumbu:
Amazing presentation, how can I follow up to learn more about this? One of our projects is grappling with adapting DHIS 2 for an OVCY program and DREAMS currently?
From @medallion:
@LMuyumbu: Thanks You can follow up on the Community of practice link above and reach out to the emails at the end of the presentation

From @SamuelJohnson:
Those complex ‘point in time’ indicator constructions look really interesting. Would it be at all possible to share the DHIS2 metadata (or detailed written specifications) for how these ‘point in time’ indicators are calculated?
From @medallion:
@SamuelJohnson Sam Johnson, the metadata is proprietary, but you can reach out to the emails on the presentation (last slide)

Recording of the session can be found here:

Recording of the session can be found here: