Development of Health Information System in Zanzibar: Practical Implications
The Ministry of Health in Zanzibar has embarked on Health Information System development with the aim of streamlining health data collection, storage, analysis and reporting in order to attain data-driven informed decision-making. The project involved two aspects: development of essential health data sets and implementation of a computerised data-storage and analysis tool. From January 2005 to December 2007 during the implementation of the project data were collected through a triangulation of qualitative methods: interviews, participant observation, document analysis, software development and training workshops. The study indicates that carefully-planned leadership of a project, clearly-stated goals and distinction between the roles of technical and sponsor networks strengthen an ICT project immeasurably. Lessons drawn include the use of local, culturally-immersed leaders to spearhead the project and the use of flexible open-source software as translators of the primary actor’s interest in achieving the goals through enrolling other actors.
Open-Source; DHIS; Information Systems; HISP; translation process; network analysis