Mobile Data Collection Improves Malawi Health Care
- Malawi’s Ministry of Health wanted stronger supervision of health facilities
- Abt created a mobile-based system to collect information and provide quick feedback
- The new tool improves accuracy and enables prompt feedback.
The USAID-funded Support for Service Delivery Integration-Systems (SSDI-Systems) Project, led by Abt Associates, is assisting the Malawian Ministry of Health (MOH). To improve health care delivery, the project identified the need to strengthen supportive supervision of health facilities.
Abt worked with an MOH taskforce to design and implement a digital, interactive checklist for smartphones. We then trained more than 250 people—project staff, MOH supervisors and IT officers—to use the technology and new processes.
To enhance data quality, problem-solving and Ministry oversight, the initiative implements mobile data collection through an electronic checklist, real-time data analysis, and feedback, and emails alerts to key stakeholders. The system replaces a manual paper system that created a lag between data collection and managerial review. With no built-in quality checks, it couldn’t catch gaps, and some information never reached managers. The phone’s software automatically compares data against a set of agreed-upon performance standards. Results are presented in green (satisfactory), yellow (improvement is required), and red (attention is urgent), and the system’s speed allows for prompt feedback. Learn more.