4 February 2016

A Steering Group meeting of the Health Data Collaborative meeting took place in Geneva on 21-22 January 2016.

Health Data Collaborative

The main objective of the meeting was to finalize an operational plan including arrangements and next steps for technical working groups and regional platforms, country engagement processes, communications work and the HDC launch event.    

Most of the main partners in HDC are now on board and HDC will prepare an explicit statement of commitments that will be sent to all partners, including the global health leaders, regional bodies, civil society, countries. 

What is the Health Data Collaborative?

Since the Measurement Summit and discussions by the global health agency leaders, the Health Data Collaborative has received very positive reactions and support from bilateral donors, agency leads, countries and regional initiatives. 

The Health Data Collaborative is a joint effort by countries, development partners, civil society and academia to help countries improve the quality of their health data to track progress toward and help achieve the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. It is about improving collective action to maximise the impact of our respective investments in country health information systems. 

In September 2015, a steering group discussed the principles and main focus areas of the Health Data Collaborative. Since then the work has focused on the development of the operational work-plan and budget, focusing on a few clearly articulated and measurable actions and outputs for 2016-2017. 

Key elements are:  

  • promoting and mobilizing support to countries to develop strong health information systems that can be maintained under their own leadership;
  • working collectively on standards and tools to strengthen country data systems;  
  • improving and aligning technical support to countries; 
  • tracking progress in country capacity to monitor SDGs; 
  • working more closely to improve access to and analyses of global health data.

Partners have given feedback on the scope and reach of the collaborative, how it interacts with other global health initiatives and how it should be implemented. In terms of governance, partners agree that the Collaborative will be reliant on the contribution of global, regional and national partners, a sense of shared responsibility and the realisation that we all stand to benefit from better aligned support for a country-led national (and sub-national) monitoring and evaluation platform, a concept IHP+ has been promoting since 2011.    

WHO is pleased to serve as the secretariat and will contribute a number of staff to support the core team of the Collaborative. Several partners are exploring the possibility of staff secondments to the secretariat, either by physical relocation to Geneva or protecting staff time at other locations, and have indicated an interest to support to Health Data Collaborative financially. These commitments should be solidified in the coming months to jump-start the Collaborative’ s work.

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