Developing What Works Best
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Category: Practices

Tanzania’s digital leadership drives partnerships with JSI, others

May 3, 2018

To be truly successful, data quality and use interventions must be scalable and able to be implemented across different settings with different people and partners beyond the BID Initiative. We are pleased to see these partnerships already taking shape with, for instance, the Catholic Medical Mission Board in Zambia’s Western Province, where the country’s electronic immunization registery is now in use in nine health facilities. Most recently, BID has collaborated with John Snow, Inc.’s (JSI) inSupply project to rollout TImR in Dodoma Region.

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Success rolls out in Southern Province

Mar 29, 2018

When Fred Njobvu, Provincial Coordinator for the BID Initiative in Zambia, looks back on January 2017, he wasn’t sure how the team would manage to roll out data quality and use interventions to the remaining districts in Southern Province. “We were running out of time in our grant,” remembers Fred, “and we needed to deliver interventions to the rest of the province.”

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Planning for compasses, not maps: BID celebrates a culture of learning, applies principles of adaptive management

Mar 16, 2018

Beatrice Owawa’s fingers dance across the screen of her tablet. She nimbly jumps from one window to the next, as she checks vaccine records and stock levels in the Tanzania Immunization Registry (TImR) at Usa River Health Center in Arusha, where she works as a medical attendant. When Beatrice pulls up a list of young patients who have recently missed their vaccines, she takes down their names and contact information and begins to call their caregivers. It may seem unremarkable, but the task of identifying patients who have fallen through the cracks used to be nearly impossible. Before TImR, Beatrice relied on paper registries to track “defaulters,” or patients who had missed a life-saving vaccine.

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Health workers in Tanzania become data use champions, set national example

Mar 1, 2018

When the BID Initiative first began working in Tanzania to introduce data quality and use interventions alongside the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MOHCDGEC), using data was not an everyday practice for most health care workers (HCWs). Many were more excited about the new devices such as the electronic immunization registry, than they were about using this information to improve decision-making. After implementing a change management strategy and thorough training led by district officials, HCWs began to realize the value of using data for decision-making. They began asking: Where do I find all the registered and vaccinated children? What should I do if a child misses a vaccine and I have a red alert on my coverage report? And how do I find children scheduled for vaccination the following month?

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Planning for compasses, not maps: The potential of adaptive management for international development

Feb 23, 2018

International development has historically followed a top-down process that implements a static set of interventions guided by standardized practices, even as programs fail and circumstances change. But progress isn’t always linear. It’s often two steps forward and one step back – and sometimes it moves sideways.

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BID partners with Catholic Medical Mission Board to expand to nine health facilities in Western Province

Feb 16, 2018

The Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) is a charity that has operated in Zambia since 1965 with the specific mandate to deliver sustainable, quality health solutions to women and children. In Zambia, CMMB works in Central, Copperbelt, Luapula, Lusaka, Northwestern and Western provinces under four projects in the health and community development sectors. CMMB’s decision to partner with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the BID Initiative to roll out the Zambia Electronic Immunisation Registry (ZEIR) to several health facilities in Western Province was a natural extension of its mission to benefit children in the province.

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Introducing Digital Square, an innovative co-investment approach that’s changing business-as-usual

Jan 30, 2018

Last month at the Global Digital Health Forum, I introduced Digital Square to many colleagues. “Digital Square is an innovative co-investment mechanism,” I said. “Yes, but what exactly does Digital Square do?” was a common response. Digital Square is a partnership of the world’s leading digital health experts from 30+ organizations and countries working together to strengthen digital health systems in emerging economies.

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Highlights from 2017

Dec 27, 2017

This year was our final full year of the BID Initiative as our initial grant ends in April 2018. As we continue full speed ahead into the new year, we are taking a moment to look back at some of the many highlights of 2017.

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A hotline for health workers using digital tools

Dec 14, 2017

In Southern Province, a nurse was recently trained on the Zambia Electronic Immunisation Registry (ZEIR). She registered a baby who came to the clinic for the first time today. But the nurse can’t enter all the baby’s key information. She is stuck and can’t continue with this child. The nurse is faced with two options: to wait until a district health officer is available to help her troubleshoot, or to call the ZEIR hotline.

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Champions and super users: ‘Born before computers,’ health workers are driving BID’s work

Nov 22, 2017

A common misconception about some older health workers is they might not be able to grasp new technologies. In some cases, these staff members fear there is a steep learning curve to master the tools, or the electronic tools might take over some of their tasks, making them redundant. There are several health workers shattering these misconceptions. They even joke about their age, calling themselves ‘born before computers’ or ‘BBCs.’

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