Strengthening National Health Information Systems in the Middle East towards Evidence-Informed Decision Making in Health Systems

This project will promote research evidence and data-informed decision-making and accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in two selected countries in the Middle East namely Lebanon and Jordan. The project will strengthen the current health information systems and ensure that the necessary processes, tools and competences are in place for the generation, analysis and utilization of relevant, reliable and timely data and information to effectively inform health policies and programs focusing on maternal, child and adolescent health.

Many countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region lack well-functioning information systems that can support health system strengthening. Key challenges include poor-quality data that does not align with decision-makers’ needs; duplication, fragmentation and incomplete data; and poor utilization of data and information in decision-making and health systems strengthening.

The project will adopt a multifaceted approach that will target all three domains of information system performance - technical, behavioral and institutional - to achieve sustainable improvements in data generation, analysis and use to inform health policies and practice. Comprehensive assessment of the existing health information systems and competencies will be conducted. Additionally assessing priority areas and information needs will be done using a multi-step approach, engaging diverse set of stakeholders, as well as leveraging user-friendly decision support tools. Specific efforts will be invested to include gender-sensitive indicators as well as optimize data and indicators for maternal, child and adolescent health as well as refugee health. A stepwise approach will be used starting with Lebanon and then subsequently scaling up to Jordan.

Project outcomes include relevant indicators, capacities and resources that are necessary for a well-functioning, gender-sensitive and equity-oriented health information systems which can inform health policymaking and programs related in particular to SDG country reporting. At the regional level, the project will generate a common set of core indicators for reporting and benchmarking across the study countries. This project builds on previous research, tools, capacity building activities and engagement strategies and the aim is to scale-up to other countries in MENA.

The project is closely aligned with the Government of Canada’s new feminist international assistance policy, the strategic priorities detailed in the 2016-2030 WHO led Global Strategy for Women, Children and Adolescents, and the overarching 2030 global agenda for sustainable development.

Project ID

108917

Project status

Active

Duration

36 months

IDRC Officer

Qamar Mahmood

Total funding

CA$ 647,600

Countries

Jordan, Lebanon

Program

Maternal and Child Health

Project Leader

Fadi EL-Jardali

Institution

American University of Beirut

Institution Country

Lebanon

Institution Website

http://www.aub.edu.lb