The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
USAID is an independent federal government agency that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State. We support long-term and equitable economic growth and advance U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting:
- economic growth, agriculture and trade;
- global health; and,
- democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance.
USAID and Health Information Systems Strengthening
USAID works across all of the six WHO HSS building blocks. With the President’s new Global Health Initiative, USAID will continue to build on their work in these areas. Within HIS, USAID provides a wide range of support in all areas of the HMN framework. A key contribution is the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) program, now in its 25th year. USAID’s DHS program has provided technical assistance to more than 240 nationally representative household and health facility surveys in over 85 countries, advancing global understanding of health and population trends in low and middle income countries. The DHS website (www.measuredhs.com/) provides all completed survey information and analysis with the aim of making data and information available to the public, promoting evidence based decision making at all levels. In addition to the DHS program, USAID support to HIS strengthening includes building country institutional and individual management and leadership capacity in HIS and M&E, and creating global standards for HIS and M&E, including guidebooks for both HIS assessment and strengthening and for emerging priority areas such as population, health and environment. USAID also offers specific contributions to the HMN framework & assessment tool. Finally, USAID plays an active role in key global M&E working groups such as the UNAIDS MERG and Roll Back Malaria MERG.
Specifically, USAID’s illustrative HIS interventions include:
To enhance country capacity: Support organizational development, management leadership, and individual capacity to produce, analyze, disseminate, and use strategic health information, from national level to community level.
To mobilize and coordinate resources: Facilitate country-led, multi-stakeholder assessment of current information system components and processes to inform near- and long-term coordinated strengthening strategies and costed action plans.
To harmonize indicators: Develop global standards for and provide assistance in country application of key indictors and monitoring and evaluation guidelines.
To generate reliable and timely data sources: Strengthen country processes and systems, including routine health information systems, integrated disease surveillance and response systems, nationally-representative censuses and household and facility surveys, and program monitoring and evaluation.
To strengthen data management and quality: Develop and support implementation of tools to identify weaknesses and plan for priority strengthening actions.
To facilitate data dissemination and use: Facilitating the translation of data into user-friendly information and document its use for evidence-based management decisionmaking, planning, advocacy, and policy development. Building community participation in evidence-based decisionmaking for health and in advocacy for improved response to disease surveillance and crises.