In 2020, the World Health Organization engaged eSHIFT and its partner LogicalOutcomes to evaluate the implementation and use of its DHIS2-based Tuberculosis (TB) Tracker in five countries. As a set of shared configuration extensions to DHIS2, WHO TB Tracker provides a standard case-based surveillance solution for country stakeholders in their response to the disease. For this evaluation, eSHIFT engaged with Ministries of Health and National TB Programmes (NTPs), external NGOs, and donor organizations to develop a comprehensive report on the policies and technical approaches employed in the implementation of TB Tracker, as well as recommendations for ensuring sustainability of the programme.
Through a mixed-methods (qualitative and quantitative) approach, the project team conducted a desk review and in-depth interviews with both in-country and external stakeholders. The evaluation focused primarily on the processes used to implement DHIS2 TB Tracker in each of the countries, the current status of the programme within those countries and the effect that the use of DHIS2 TB Tracker has had on TB tracking, treatment and policy development. The evaluation assessed the DHIS2 TB Tracker as a tool which supports the goals of the countries’ TB programs and the WHO 2020 End TB Strategy.
The work helped identify gaps and bottlenecks, enhance utility, and inform the strategy for further roll out of the module in the five selected countries and others in the future. Findings from the evaluation will be used to develop terms of reference and a methodology of readiness assessment before the implementation of a DHIS2 TB tracker in other countries and settings in the future.
The results of the evaluation underlined the importance of ongoing support and expansion of DHIS2-based information systems to ensure sustainability, the necessity of comprehensive implementation planning to address both project and technical challenges, and the need for continued leadership and guidance to enable a robust community of practice around digital tools.