Visualising Data in DHIS2 Regional Academy - 13th - 17th May 2024 - Gaborone, Botswana

Following changes to the DHIS2 Academy structure last year, the first English language regional academy for 2024, focusing on “Visualizing Data in DHIS2,” was held in Gaborone, Botswana, from May 13th to 17th, 2023. This event was a collaborative effort among HISP groups from Southern and Eastern Africa, and marking the first time Botswana hosted the DHIS2 Academy.

The DHIS2 Academy aimed to equip participants with a comprehensive skill set for data analysis and visualization. This included mastering the latest DHIS2 features for data visualization, understanding and ensuring data quality through validation rules, creating insightful pivot tables and charts, leveraging maps for geographical analysis, and building interactive dashboards to effectively communicate insights. Furthermore, the Academy emphasized the application of data-driven insights into actionable frameworks for improved decision-making.

The Academy was officially opened by Ms. Judith Nawa, Director of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Quality Assurance at the Ministry of Health, Botswana. She expressed gratitude to participants from various countries for prioritizing knowledge sharing and highlighted Botswana’s successful journey with DHIS2, mentioning key achievements in disease surveillance, immunization registries, and system integration. Ms. Nawa stressed the need to move beyond data entry and use data for better planning and improved healthcare. She envisioned a future involving a data-driven decision-making culture and a comprehensive health picture achieved through integration with existing systems. The importance of active participation and knowledge exchange among attendees was also emphasized.

Notable Attendees

Dr. Alinafe Mbewe, the Director of the Digital Health Division at the Ministry of Health, Malawi, was also in attendance.

The Academy attracted 47 participants from Botswana, Malawi, Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Zambia, representing Ministries of Health, program M&E, district biostatistics, nutrition and child protection, and various partners. The HISP Uganda and HISP Tanzania teams supported the planning and coordination efforts on the ground.

Facilitators from HISP Uganda, HISP Tanzania, HISP Kenya, HISP UNIMA, HISP Zimbabwe, and Botswana provided diverse perspectives, including on public health, local and regional insights, and climate and health expertise.

The Academy concluded on a positive note, with participants requesting more forums to further engage with each other, share user experiences, and explore DHIS2 applications for different domains that can provide health insights and vice versa.

They also encouraged further peer support across the region, fostering a collaborative environment for continuous learning and improvement.