Health and Management Information Systems (HMIS) Projects (Archived)

The National Health Information Systems project


This project has been approved in cabinet and is driven by the National Treasury and Chief Directors in the National Department of Health (NDoH). Its budget increased from R5.7million in phase 1 (05/06) to R11 million in the 06/07 financial year (Phase II) whilst support days increased from 300 for the NDoH and 800 for provinces in Phase I to full-time support for both.

Health Information Systems Programme (HISP) have been sub-contracted to provide support in certain provinces, whilst HST provides full time support in the rest.


This project aims to provide technical assistance and support to the national and provincial departments of health to strengthen the use of health and management information systems, with a focus on the District Health Information System (DHIS).

The NDoH selected the following programmes/directorates as needing this technical assistance:

  • HIER (Health Information, Evaluation and Research)
  • Strategic Planning
  • Primary Health Care and District Development
  • Hospital Services

Main activities:

Activities ensuring optimal availability of data include:

  • Ensuring that data/information is available on intranets at provincial and national level
  • Developing standardised reports (on intranets)
  • Ensuring data consolidation at national level
  • Supporting the implementation of the National Indicator Data Set (NIDS) in all provinces
  • Conduct a baseline audit of resources for data management in all provinces in cooperation with the HST's research cluster.
  • A national semi-permanent data set which is linked with the facility survey is being developed with HST's research team
  • Support is given to managers for provincial strategic planning and quarterly monitoring as well as with the District Health Planning process
  • Assisting the implementation process of the National Environmental Health Services data set
  • An extraction tool and a semi-automated aggregation system for data has been developed for the Quarterly Reporting Systems (QRS) at national level.
  • Supporting the collection and improvement of National Tertiary Services Grant data (NTSG)
  • Supporting the analysis of data for the Integrated Sustainable Rural Development (ISRDS) Sites (both urban and rural)
  • Supporting the process of importing the electronic TB register ( data. Analysing the data and providing feedback to clusters and provinces
  • Supporting Integrated Health Planning Framework (IHPF) processes
  • Supporting on the implementation of the Disease Notification System
  • Support the roll-out of version 1.4 of the DHIS software

Activities related to improving data quality include:

  • Collating monthly and quarterly feedback reports on outliers, identified gaps and suspicious values
  • Monitoring of data submission rates (timeliness and completeness)
  • Ongoing feedback and follow-up to provinces on data quality
  • Standardised facility definitions have been developed and approved by the Technical Committee
  • Provide assistance to the Strategic Planning cluster to triangulate QRS data in order to identify data errors
  • Finalising population estimates per district/sub-district for 1995 – 2009 (in cooperation with NDoH demographer and StatsSA)
  • Identification of a key set of indicators (to be used in QRS, DHP, IHPF) to monitor quality of data.
  • Ongoing training and skills development (of data collectors, information officers, managers) at national, provincial, district and hospital levels
  • Data ‘clean-up' workshops in all provinces

Activities ensuring optimal data flow include:

  • Monthly monitoring of data flow at all levels in the health system
  • Supporting the installation of provincial servers and ADSL lines
  • Reviewing the data flow policy at national and provincial level
  • Phasing out the parallel information systems

Activities involving skills development and training:

  • Training managers on M & E and the use of information for management
  • Training on DHIS software (also migration to version 1.4 of the DHIS)
  • Training on setting up and use of pivot tables
  • Training on disease notification module
  • Training on Emergency Medical Services and Environmental Health Services Health Information Systems

Software development/processes: The District Health Information System (DHIS) version 1.4 is being developed (based on SA needs) and roll-out has started. Data sets identified to be linked to DHIS are:

  • BAS (basic accounting system)data
  • Surveillance systems (TOP, malaria, EPI, cholera), and
  • Electronic TB Register ( software)

Achievements of the NatHIS project 2006/7

  • The training of 3,928 provincial health staff on the district health information system
  • Supporting the implementation of the National Indicator Data Set (NIDS) in all provinces
  • A health information systems audit was conducted in all provinces to determine the current status of HIS staffing, equipment and infrastructure
  • Support was provided to strengthen the Provincial Quarterly Reporting System (PQRS) in terms of integration into the DHIS, improvement of data flow to meet National Treasury reporting requirements and improvement of data quality
  • The District Quarterly Reporting System (DQRS) was developed and aligned with the PQRS
  • Inputs were provided for the development of the MESH tool and quantitative scoring of districts
  • Inputs were provided, from a health information management perspective, for standardised facility definitions and classification which has been approved by the Technical Committee for implementation nationally
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Environmental Health Service (EMS) information systems were developed, utilising the DHIS. Training was conducted in all provinces and seven provinces have already started submitting EMS data to NDOH  

The Internship programme:
Three young professionals were appointed for a two-year HMIS/M&E internship in May/June 2006. A database management intern was also appointed in August 2006.

An internship development programme has been developed and interns have been assigned to specific mentors. One intern has since ‘graduated’ and has been snapped-up by another project within HST as a facilitator. For more information on the internship development programme, click through here.

Poster:The National Health Information Systems (NatHIS) Project: Strengthening the use of health management information contained in the District Health Information System (DHIS)

NatHIS project team members:


Area of support


Ronel Visser

HealthLink Director

Ronel @

Dr Faith Kumalo

Project Manager – National

Faith @

Stiaan Byleveld

Project Manager – Provincial

Stiaan @

Dr Peter Barron

Snr. Technical Advisor

Pbarron @

Christa van den Bergh


Christa @

Calle Hedberg (HISP)

NDoH and Software development

Chedberg @

Greg Rowles (HISP)

NDoH Software development

Gregrowles @

Molefe Mahlatsi

NDoH – intern

Molefe @

Nonqaba Mzana

Eastern Cape

Nonqaba @

Ross Haynes

Free State

Hstross @

Hlengiwe Ngcobo

Free State – intern

Hngcobo @

Ronelle Niit


Rniit @

Rakshika Bhana


Rakshika @

Naadira Karrim

KwaZulu-Natal – intern

Naadira @

Buli Yeni


Buli @

Sonja Venter (HISP)


sonja.hisp @

Norah Stoops (HISP)

North West

Norah @

Imeraan Cassiem

Northern Cape

Imeraan @

Naomi Massyn

Western Cape

Naomi @

Dr Morris Mathebula (HISP)

HISP manager

Morris @

Crizelle van den Bergh

Database Manager (HST)

Crizelle @

Jan Baloyi

Database Intern (HST)

Jan @

Resource Documents

  • Health Facility Definitions
  • The Department of Health Emergency Medical Services - Data Management Guidelines: (Draft 2* 16th July 2007)


The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Health Information Systems project

The EMS HIS project was funded by DFID and ran from Nov 05 till end May 06. HISP was sub-contracted and the following activities were undertaken:

  • A national EMS Minimum Data Set was developed
  • EMS data files were developed at province and national level
  • Data flow systems were established and data collection tools were developed
  • EMS officers were trained (1 workshop in each province)

This project did not provide for ongoing support and training in order to ensure successful implementation as it was agreed with the Department and the funders that such ongoing support will be provided in 2006 under the National HIS project. The following key focus areas for Emergency Medical Services were identified:

  • Ensuring optimal availability of EMS data
  • Ensuring data quality
  • Ensuring optimal flow of data
  • Training of EMS managers on utilisation of data

Activities and outputs included:

  • Follow-up EMS Routine Information Systems training conducted in all provinces and the NDOH
  • Feedback on EMS data quality and challenges with implementation of the Information System for EMS presented at National Committee for EMS meetings
  • Presented progress with implementation and analysis of the EMS Routine Information System at NHIS/SA – presentation by HST Facilitator and NDOH EMS Manager well received
  • Established National EMS Information System Task Team with the mandate from NHIS/SA and NCEMS
  • EMS Task Team reviewed the 2006 National EMS Indicator dataset during their first meeting
  • EMS data flowing to National
  • A Emergency Medical Service Data Management Guideline was developed.
    • EMS Data Management Guideline

The Monitoring and Evaluation of the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan for HIV and AIDS Care, Management and Treatment (CCMT) Project

The CCMT M & E project was funded by the National Department of Health and ran from Feb 05 till end of March 06. The work was done in 50/50 partnership with the Health Information Systems Programme (HISP).
Activities and outputs included:

  • Facilitator and participant manuals for the monitoring and evaluation of CCMT were developed, published and disseminated.
  • One training workshop was held in each province. A total of 464 people were trained and post-training support and evaluation was done.

The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Monitoring and Evaluation Project

Phase 1 of the KZN M & E project was funded by DFID and ran from April 2006 to Nov 2006, to do an in-depth situation analysis on current M & E practices in the KZN Department of Health.
Activities and outputs include developing a normative framework for M & E and developing an M & E implementation plan for the KZN Department of Health.

Poster:HMIS Challenges of implementing the comprehensive plan for HIV and AIDS care, management and treatment in SA's public sector facilities

KZN M& E project team


Area of support


Ronel Visser

Manager: HMIS and M & E


Nhlanhla Ngomane

Project Manager


Dr Peter Barron

Snr Technical Advisor


Rakshika Bhana

Technical Assistant


Kalay Moodley

Technical Assistant


Khosi Nyawo

Technical Assistant


Fatima Suleman

Technical Assistant


The Data Manager: NDoH Primary Health Care, Districts and Development Project

This project started in June 2006 and ran for one year; with the possibility of renewal for an additional year. It incorporates the following activities and outputs:

  • Managing DHIS software at advance user level and data validation, analysis and feedback to managers (national and provincial sectors)
  • Managing and maintaining the national DHIS and its database to ensure there is a constant data flow of reliable and complete data available to users
  • Monitoring the countrywide implementation of DHIS
  • Preparing reports for senior managers on the DHIS and database development and reporting on progress towards objectives and effectiveness of the health information system
  • Preparing data for quarterly, annual and ad hoc reports (including graphs and maps) in collaboration with relevant managers
  • Responding to data related requests from managers at national and provincial departments
  • Facilitating and managing changes to data elements, indicators and indicator definitions based on international and national health priorities, goals and targets
  • Providing support in the development of training programs and material as well as training to improve data completeness and quality as relates to PHC services

Key Achievements

  • Facilitating the successful implementation of the EHS dataset. Training was provided to provincial managers and district staff in every province and data has been collected in paper-form since October 2006 in some provinces
  • The District Quarterly Reporting System has been developed and been included as Part B of the Management Economic, Social and Human Resources (MESH) Tool. It will be used as an evidence – based assessment to back-up the qualitative assessment of Part A of the MESH Tool

Data Manager project team


Area of support


Dr Faith Kumalo

Manager: HMIS and M & E


Jackie Smith

District Development and PHC cluster at NDoH


Mpumalanga M&E Project

In order to strengthen health service delivery in Mpumalanga Province, the Department of Health and Social Services contracted the Health Systems Trust (HST) to undertake a project to scope for the requirements to establish an effective system for ongoing monitoring and periodic evaluation of health programme implementation in the province.


The aim of the project is to strengthen health service delivery in Mpumalanga Province by developing an effective system for ongoing monitoring and periodic evaluation of health programme implementation.


The project objectives are:

  • To undertake a scoping exercise of the requirements to monitor and evaluate health programmes in Mpumalanga Province
  • To provide recommendations for an appropriate and effective monitoring and evaluation system for health services in the province


HST has put together an experienced team to work on the project comprising mostly HST full-time staff supplemented by external consultants with appropriate experience and expertise. The project team members are:

Dr. Faith Kumalo Project Manager (HST)
Mr. David Mametja Consultant
Dr. Jean- Francois Aguilera Consultant (M&E Specialist)
Dr. Oluseyi Oyedele HST
Ms. Christa van den Bergh HST
Dr. Peter Barron Senior Technical Advisor (HST)

The final project report was submitted in October 2007.

Contact person: Dr Faith Kumalo: Project Manager HMIS/ M&E (faith @