The Nigerian National Health Information System faces numerous challenges and is unable to provide the much-needed quality health data required for decision-making. Among many structural and governance barriers, this weakness is also largely due to low data analytics and coordination capacity, as well as the fragmented and disorganized manner of data systems development in the country.
Data analytics can improve health care in different ways. Some of these include; regular monitoring of health outcomes, improving decision support mechanisms, informing policy development, etc. More importantly, policymakers and stakeholders in health with the use of data and analytics will be able to make use of new tools that can provide valuable insight into the health status of the populace, quality of service delivery and financial implications.
For a number of years, the eHealth for Everyone Foundation, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and other stakeholders, has provided health data analytics support to enhance evidence-based decision making in Nigeria. This support is carried out through technical advisory, research, staff mentoring and capacity building of the FMoH and other partner agencies. The principal goal of this is to improve health data analytics in the health sector by reinforcing the institutional capacity of the departments and agencies entrusted with the responsibility of managing the Nigerian health information system.
To expand on the ongoing support, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, through the eHealth for everyone Foundation, is introducing the Health Data Analytics for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (HDA-MDA) research fellowship. The goal of this fellowship is to improve health data analytics for enhanced decision-making in Nigeria.
The objectives of the fellowship are to:
The fellowship will be available to staff of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to support research in the improvement of data analytics in Nigeria. Beneficiaries of the fellowship will receive the following:
Applicants must meet the following criteria to become a fellow:
The research fellowship program will be managed by the fellowship committee – the eHealth for everyone Foundation- in conjunction with selected representatives of MDAs. This team will be responsible for candidate selection, workshop planning/delivery, disbursement of funds, and candidate mentorship. The team will come up with rules and regulations governing the conduct of the beneficiaries with respect to the research fellowship.
If successful, applicants would be notified that they have been selected to receive the research grant, they must officially “accept” the offer via an email within 2 weeks.
Funds are to be used for the research work ONLY. Funds would possibly cover textbooks, equipment, publications, and data collection activities. Costs that are indirectly related to the research would need to be approved by the fellowship committee.
The research will prioritize secondary data and goals should be targeted towards improving Nigerian health data and data systems around the following key areas:
The research goals can be pursued using any of the following approaches:
Fellows would be required to submit progress reports to the fellowship committee at monthly intervals.
Progress reports serve to:
Within 6 months of signing on to the fellowship, beneficiaries are expected to complete a full body of research: literature review, data collection, collation & interpretation of results, and a text compilation of all the above. They will also be expected to present their research in a workshop where fellow researchers and members of the fellowship committee will be present.
The fellowship committee will not take sole credit for any outputs. However, all research outputs, and related materials or resources should be made available to the fellowship committee and for publication as applicable.
In the event of a breach, the fellow will be liable to reimburse eHealth for everyone, all fellowship funds paid, stipends, book grants, and all other allowances and payments, depending on the offence.