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Investing in Tanzania and Zambia

By Laurie Werner, Global Director, BID Initiative

Mar 24, 2016

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Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. A family waits for immunization services at Usa River Health Facility in Arusha, Tanzania.

Photo: PATH/Trevor Snapp. A family waits for immunization services at Usa River Health Facility in Arusha, Tanzania.

As we officially start the second half of our BID Initiative grant, we took some time to reflect on our accomplishments to date as well as the challenges we’ve faced and the lessons we’ve learned. Over the last year, we’ve made incredible progress in designing, testing and rolling out interventions. In Tanzania, we’re rolling out beyond Arusha City and in Zambia, we’re making huge strides toward developing the electronic immunization registry and perfecting data use interventions to rollout later this year.

We recently held very positive and productive meetings with the Deputy Ministers and delegations from both Tanzania and Zambia at the Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Africa. Both governments are confident the BID Initiative will play a critical role in achieving their goals to strengthen health systems and create a data-use culture and are eager for us to scale nationally beyond our initial test region/province.

As we continue to make headway in both our demonstration countries, we paused to think about the elements needed for success over our remaining two years. While at the BID Initiative’s start we envisioned adopting a third demonstration country, we have made a strategic decision to fully invest funds back into Tanzania and Zambia where we’ve already dedicated significant resources and seen incredible progress. This strategy change is intended to sustain momentum and based on the staff and resources needed for Tanzania and Zambia to successfully implement BID solutions and scale beyond current project sites. The refocus of resources will help set us up for even more success and allow us to reach greater impact and scale with proven solutions, which can then be replicated in many countries.

Ensuring BID solutions will be relevant and applicable to countries beyond Tanzania and Zambia and supporting other countries interested in improving data quality and use is still very much a key priority. The BID Learning Network (BLN) will continue to be a critical mechanism to shape and package BID solutions for other countries to adopt and deploy.

Additionally, the BLN Small Grant Program and study visits provide opportunities for BLN immunization program and eHealth personnel support to implement solutions aligned with BID interventions and learnings, and participate in site visits where there are already solutions in place that have improved data access, quality, and use and made a positive impact on health care service delivery.

We remain committed to working closely with our global partners and other NGOs who are interested in taking BID’s solutions and further scaling them to other countries. So while we’re tailoring our strategy to ensure greater success, the goal is the same – to empower countries across Sub-Saharan Africa to enhance immunization and overall health service delivery through improved data quality and use.

We look forward to continue partnering with countries and implementing organizations to reach this goal!

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