Health statistics and information systems

Service Availability Mapping (SAM)

Request for proposals to provide technical assistance. Deadline: 31 October 2006


Photo: Participants at a training workshop in Ghana
Participants at a training workshop in Ghana

Service Availability Mapping (SAM) is a tool to collect and present basic information on health services: health infrastructure, human resources and services offered. Its main application is at the subnational or district level, where district health management teams can use the results of the SAM in conjunction with WHO's HealthMapper application, developed by the Public Health Mapping and GIS programme, to map and monitor health services. SAM is made up of a survey methodology, remote field data collection devices, and WHO's HealthMapper application

Since there is an immediate need for information on basic infrastructure and service availability many countries have applied an intermediate step - the SAM survey of districts. This consists of a survey of all district health management teams. It includes questions on health infrastructure, human resources, and availability of key services. For selected services such as ARV therapy, Caesarean section or PMTCT, the specific name of the facility is asked. The outputs are maps and summary statistics of the situation in all districts in the country.

See an overview presentation of SAM:

Watch a video of SAM outputs: