Health Data Collaborative—International Partnership for Health Information and Tracking Health-related Sustainable Development Goals
The Health Data Collaborative, launched by WHO and partner development agencies, countries, donors, and academics in March 2016, is a joint effort to work alongside countries to improve the quality of their health data and to track progress towards the health-related SDGs (http://www.who.int/features/ 2016/health-data-collaborative/en/; http://www.healthdatacollaborative.org/). This informal partnership of different actors explicitly aims to improve health data by strengthening country HIS, which can better support the emerging health reform initiatives.
The longer-term goals of the Health Data Collaborative is that by 2024, 60 LMICs, and supporting donors, will be using common investment plans to strengthen HIS, and that countries will not need international assistance for these systems by 2030. The practical approach is to establish a network of working groups that will address specific technical issues and a key part of this plan is to coordinate the various efforts to make sure everyone is pulling in the same direction. Through several working groups, the Health Data Collaborative will produce tools, templates, and data standards, such as required for public health management, hospital information systems, for disease surveillance, TB, malaria control, case-based investigation, and ICD10 mortality reporting.
The Health Data Collaborative is planning to become a strong global actor in the area of HIS, a bit similar to the Health Metrics Network exactly 10 years earlier, but with a different approach and organization. While HMN built a strong centralized organization and funded and organized projects to assess HIS and develop strategic plans in numerous countries, the Health Data Collaborative is focusing on a lean organization and on using a network of time-limited working groups as the main approach to operationalize activities. It sees itself as a facilitator bringing countries, donors, and other partners together to organize investments and is not intending to be responsible for financing HIS in countries.