From Multiple Register to Family folder: The Transition of Data Collection and Reporting Tools for Health Extension Workers in Ethiopia

Zufan Abera DAMTEW, Amsalu Shiferaw MOGES


Absence of unified data collection tools and over reporting to the higher levels are major problems in the health management information systems (HMIS) in many developing countries. Building on the notions of boundary objects and knowledge boundary, this study examined the challenges and opportunities for developing unified data collection tools and health reports. To do so, an interpretative case study was conducted in Ethiopia during the inception of HMIS reform in order to improve the quality of health information. The reform process includes standardizing data collection and reporting tools for all health facilities across the country.The focus of this study is a family folder that is designed to capture the community health data by the health extension workers of Ethiopia. The findings indicate a tendency to use multiple registers and reports at the health facilities to fulfill the information demand of different partners. This challenge need to be dealt through discussion, negotiation and convergence of conflicting interests among stakeholders to address the identified defy.


HMIS, data collection tools, health reports, boundary object, knowledge boundaries.

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