The drive to promote better health facility data in sub-Saharan Africa

August 12, 2022

GRID3 has begun supporting the WHO with the coordination and implementation of the Geolocated Health Facilities Data (GHFD) initiative in the Africa Region. Currently, the GFHD is supporting the production of needs assessments and work plans relating to countries’ health facility master lists. Ultimately, the GHFD aims to help each WHO Member State sustainably update, publicly share, and actively use an accurate master list.

GRID3 will draw on its extensive experience with health facility database production and management in sub-Saharan Africa. Thanks to its work across the region with both governmental and non-governmental partners, GRID3 has experience effectively communicating the benefits of data sharing, identifying barriers that prevent sharing, and implementing practical solutions that are tailored to local circumstances. Recently, GRID3 has supported the production of health facility data in Sierra Leone and Ethiopia, as well as published a white paper describing its initiatives to map this kind of infrastructure in additional sub-Saharan African countries. 

GRID3 will support WHO Country Offices in activities that are aimed at raising awareness and building support across governments and other stakeholders. To that end, GRID3 has been working with countries to identify barriers to having strong health facilities data and to co-design work plans to address those barriers. GRID3 is working with Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Zambia. 

Such barriers may include:

  • Insufficient technical capacity to implement solutions required for data sharing
  • Insufficient data infrastructure to support implementation of data sharing solutions
  • Data quality issues that reduce willingness to share 
  • Data completeness problems 
  • Inadequate data documentation
  • Ambiguous authority that impedes data sharing decisions 
  • Security concerns

“We will work with partner countries to find pragmatic solutions to these barriers, further bolstering their capacity to produce and use health facility data,”

says Marc Levy, Director of GRID3.

“These skills, and the database overall, will be integral in the region’s drive to improve healthcare services.” 

In its role as Regional Coordinator, GRID3 is working with implementing partners eHealth Africa and IQVIA to coordinate activities across all 28 countries that are part of the GHFD initiative’s first phase in the Africa Region.


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