UDSM DHIS2 Lab Hub: 21+ years of implementing sustainable and integrated DHIS2 health data warehouse in Tanzania

This abstract has been accepted at the 2024 DHIS2 Annual Conference

UDSM DHIS2 Lab Hub: 21+ years of implementing sustainable and integrated DHIS2 health data warehouse in Tanzania

This year, 2024, marks 21 years since the UDSM DHIS2 lab team started working with DHIS2 in Tanzania. Together with the UiO HISP founder, we began with standalone DHIS 1.3 & 1.4 implementation in two districts from 2002 to 2006 to demonstrate its capabilities in storing, analyzing, and presenting data, which was replaced with DHIS2 in 2007. In parallel, the collaborative team tirelessly worked with the MoH and other partners to prepare the National M&E Strengthening Initiative (MESI) plan, which was endorsed in 2010, setting a clear road map for DHIS2 implementation in Tanzania. The UDSM team participated in various MESI’s activities such as designing new HMIS, customization, rollout training, user support, system maintenance of DHIS2. The success of the DHIS2 in the pilot region acted as a catalyst to enable its acceptance and full scale rollout in Tanzania from 2011 to 2013. The HIS for vertical health programs were continuously also integrated into DHIS2, creating a single centralized DHIS2 health data warehouse. UDSM DHIS2 Lab adopts a four legged approach where participatory software development, innovation, capacity building, and action research are carried out in an integrated fashion and collaboration with various partners while ministries playing a central role. This model has been the successful formula for the lab’s scaling, DHIS2 sustainability, and continuous innovation of other related systems. The DHIS2 is now the national data warehouse for all HMIS data & vertical programs and is integrated with other various health data systems. The sustainable use of DHIS2 over the years has helped develop health workers’ DHIS2 strong capacity and significantly impacted the timely data reporting, analysis, and evidence & data driven planning. The lab hub’s research activities have produced several MSc & PhD graduates and scientific publications in HIS and health informatics. Several locally relevant innovations in the DHIS2 environment have been developed. Also DHIS2 has been customized to support different sectors in Tanzania beyond health. The lab’s HR capacity has grown to more than 30 skilled faculty and technical staff with BSc, MSc, and Ph.D. qualifications. Also, several PG students have been researching HIS in the Lab. The lab hub has collaboration with more than 30+ partners locally and globally. Apart from DHIS2 Implementation, the lab hub has contributed to the development of other innovations within the DHIS2 environment and other systems to address changing and growing demands to improve health system performance in Tanzania.

Primary Author: Honest Kimaro

DHIS2 Implementation, UDSM DHIS2 Lab, 21 years’ anniversary, Tanzania