Organizational DHIS2 server to share survey/surveillance data to others?

Hi all,

My organization collects a lot of surveys/surveillance/non-facility based data in humanitarian contexts, and we are interested in seeing how best we can consolidate this so it can better share our data, and possibly inform health information management systems, or other systems. I was wondering broadly if we had our own organizational DHIS2 server with our data, how easy/difficult would it be to share data to other existing DHIS2 systems like health information systems?

  1. How intensive is it to set up an internal DHIS2 server for an organization?
  2. Is there any other organization that has previously used DHIS2 to consolidate more survey or surveillance type data sources (I imagine through the Aggregate collector?) What has been that experience like?
  3. Can separate DHIS2 systems easily “talk to one another” and share data across separate DHIS2 systems?

Any feedback would be much appreciated! I think DHIS2 is great and I’m very interested to see whether it can meet the needs of my organization for our purpose.

Thank you for your question to the community @SaeedR1987!

DHIS2 is known for being a customizable software platform and could be configured for the purpose of surveys and surveillance like you asked. Additionally, usually certain implementations will require specific tools and make use of certain features more than other features, so it all depends on the what output is desired and how the system is going to be configured to provide the proper input; therefore, an important step, is to understand the configuration and design of the metadata that is going to be created as well as being aware of the export that will be exchanged with other external systems.

Although, the question is very broad, I can say that the intensity depends on the technical expertise, infrastructure, and requirements. It can be very simple and it can get too complicated! However, the DHIS2 core team, HISP network, and the whole of DHIS2 community always share resources, tools, documentation, and anything that will help and support DHIS2 projects.

For instance, you can have a look at for documentation, where you are now for Implementation user stories…etc, and you can find in the Developers Portal a simple step by step instructions on how to run dhis2 on Docker (not yet for production). The number of years of experiences and the variety of implementation use cases that are being generously and freely shared should help.

It’s great that you’ve found your way into the community because hopefully this will also be a great support. Regarding the surveys, please search more in the community site, or provide actual examples of what you mean. I’m not sure exactly what you mean; however, I think you can find some more info: Search results for 'Survey #implementation' - DHIS2 Community

Finally, I believe your will benefit a lot if you watch the DHIS2 V40 release webinar:

Hi @SaeedR1987 ,
As @Gassim points out, the question is quite broad. I would say “maybe”, but it might depend a lot on the nature of your data. Questionnaires and surveys have been successfully implemented using the “events” functionality of DHIS2. I suspect this would be the best fit to model your data with, since you can have questions with choices (aka a drop down) , Yes/No, and other data types such as free text and numbers. So, in short it could possibly work, but we might need a more detailed description of your data to be able to offer more advice.

In terms of deployment, again, its hard to say. There are several companies which offer DHIS2 hosting, but if you choose to roll your own, you would need someone in your organisation with a reasonable amount of skills in Linux systems administration, network security, and disaster recovery procedures.

In terms of systems being able to “talk” to each other, in principle yes, it is possible. DHIS2 has a number of ways to export both metadata as well as data and in more recent versions has a highly configurable aggregate data exchange API. Keeping disparate systems in sync with each other can be a challenge though, so again, the answer is not entirely straightforward.

Hope this helps. Let us know if you have more questions!

Best regards,

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