Malawi Makes Moves to Strengthen Its Health Information System and Data Use
On June 25, 2018, the Malawi Ministry of Health’s senior management approved the Monitoring and Evaluation Health Information Systems Strategy 2018-2022. The purpose of the strategy is to provide a blueprint for the Ministry of Health to implement priority interventions to strengthen Malawi’s health information system, and to ensure that the health information system is able to generate and use high-quality data to successfully monitor and evaluate the success of its Health Sector Strategic Plan II.
USAID, through the Health Policy Plus (HP+) project, coordinated the development of the strategy, analyzing the implementation of Malawi’s previous health information systems strategy for key achievements, gaps, and lessons learned; facilitating workshops; and contributing to the writing and costing of the strategy. HP+ provided both technical inputs and financial support to the strategy development process, in collaboration with the Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative, the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Kuunika Project, and Germany’s development agency GIZ.
To develop the new strategy, Jacob Kawonga, HP+’s Senior Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Advisor seconded to the Ministry of Health’s Central Monitoring and Evaluation Division, led a consultative review and drafting process, facilitating workshops and meetings with the M&E Technical Working Group—a group that was defunct until HP+ helped revitalize it last year. Kawonga also engaged partners in the review process and prepared a presentation of the strategy, delivered by the Ministry of Health’s Deputy Director to the Ministry’s senior management. Final comments from senior management are now being integrated into the strategy, ahead of it being sent to the Secretary of Health for his signature. Over the next two years, Kawonga will continue to support the Malawi’s Ministry of Health to strengthen coordinated implementation of the country’s M&E health information systems strategy.