29 August 2014

Members of the IHP+ Working Group on Information and Accountability (previously the M&E WG) and the Working Group on Indicators and Reporting Burden came together for a meeting on 27-28 August 2014 in Geneva.

Rationalization of indicators and reporting requirements for better results

The meeting follows a year long process to identify common indicators that can be used for monitoring results in health at a global and country level. It responded to the decision of the Global Health Leaders, led by Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization and Jim Kim, President of the World Bank, to focus on this as an important area of harmonization. 

The objectives of the meeting were:

  • To discuss and endorse the global reference list of key indicators (that was developed and has been through several rounds of consultation prior to the meeting)
  • To discuss ways in which reporting requirements and health information systems can be better aligned
  • To discuss and agree plans for operationalizing the agenda in countries. 

The meeting produced an Outcome Statement.

The meeting brought together representatives of development agencies from global level (from US, UK, Canada, Germany, Japan, Sweden and Norway; UN agencies; World Bank; GAVI and Global Fund); Ministry of Health staff from selected countries (Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Vietnam), civil society organizations and Gates Foundation. 

Countries were asked to give their comments on the issues they face in dealing with demands for data and reporting from the global level and partners in country. Tanzanian Ministry of Health representative, Claud Kumalija, said, “Health service providers are being over-whelmed with multiple reporting requirements”. The demands to report come from various funding agencies and it would be easier to meet them if they are better harmonized. Mr Kumalija also mentioned that they have made progress in developing the country system, including developing a data warehouse which should reduce  parallel systems and having a Technical Working Group on strengthening M&E which includes key partners, and aims to coordinate efforts and avoid duplication. The government is piloting innovative methods such as using mobile phones to send health facility data to the district, which has helped with reporting.

The meeting agreed on next steps to finalise the 2014 list of core and additional indicators, and on behaviours at global and country level to improve harmonisation and alignment in results monitoring.

Progress was reviewed at a meeting of Global Health Agency Leaders on 24 September, in New York. They endorsed the meeting outcome statement and reiterated their commitment to make further progress on rationalising global reporting requirements. 

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