In the post-MDG era, reaching all populations is increasingly recognized as central to achieving sustainable development. Community-based health services will gain prominence as part of countries’ efforts to address health service issues such as equity, inclusiveness, and systematic and broad coverage.
As part of these efforts, countries will have to put more attention to strengthening and mainstreaming their community-based health information systems (CHIS), which may include use of information technology. A systems approach sees technology as an integral part of a health information system, rather than seeing technology as a way around an inadequate health information system. However, the excitement around use of technology as a solution for every new initiative needs more prudence.
A CHIS not only serves the needs of health managers and policy makers, but also as a tool for community health workers, allowing them to better serve their constituencies, and can assist community members to get involved in improving and maintaining their own health.
Examples of CHIS Tools
The Family Folder in Ethiopia has been a great success story of a CHIS that generates usable data and promotes ownership of health services amongst the communities. Learn more from MEASURE Evaluation and see the related training materials:
Training of Health Extension Workers on Family Folder and HMIS Procedures: Facilitator’s Guide (MEASURE Evaluation Project, 2013)
Community Health Information System Data Recording and Reporting: User’s Manual (MEASURE Evaluation Project, 2013)
Have more examples of great CHIS tools? Share them with us!