You are here

Health Information Systems Programme

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 2010/03/18 - 16:31
No votes yet

Served country/region:

Health Information Systems Programme (HISP) aims to support the improvement of health care systems in the southern hemisphere by increasing the capacity of health care workers to make decisions based on accurate information. HISP provides training and support for users of the open source District Health Information System (DHIS) software, which is under continuous development. The project started in post-apartheid South Africa, and has been introduced in a number of countries in Africa and Asia. It is part of the BEANISH initiative to improve health information in Africa.


Development and implementation of sustainable and integrated health information systems that empower communities, health workers and decision makers to improve the coverage, quality and efficiency of health services


HISP-SA adopts a broad based developmental approach to capacity building and support of communities, health care workers and decision makers for improving health information systems. In partnership with ministries of health, universities, NGOs and private companies, we support integration of information systems through open standards and data exchange mechanisms. Focussing on local solutions for developing country contexts, we subscribe to the Free and Open Source philosophy of sharing our products such as training materials and software solutions. We promote access to and use of information for action.


The Health Information Systems Programme (HISP) has since 1994 expanded from a pilot project in three Cape Town health districts to a global South-South-North network active in around 15 countries/states with over 200 million people in Africa and Asia. The network comprise universities, Ministries of Health, NGOs, and companies. All our ICT solutions, materials, and experiences are shared based on “Free and Open Source Software” principles. The primary focus for HISP is developing and implementing integrated Health Management Information Systems for routine data, semi-permanent data, and survey data.

Databases using our District Health Information Software (DHIS) contain data representing over one billion patient visits. The DHIS is designed to support health workers and managers at all administrative levels through a balance between flexibility and standardization, and with a strong emphasis on USING INFORMATION FOR LOCAL ACTION. The DHIS has been translated into Portuguese, Swahili, Spanish, Telugu, Russian, Mongolian, and Chinese – Vietnamese and French are under way. Around 70% of overall HISP effort goes into training, with an estimated 7-8,000 health workers and managers trained in South Africa alone. The HISP network, while having university partners in Norway and Sweden, is predominantly run BY professionals from the south and FOR countries in the south.

Contact (Name): 
Dr. Vincent Shaw
Contact (eMail): 
South Africa