Thursday, 13.45-14.45 (Balcony E)

DHIS2 and its place in the M&E world. Nicola Hobby, Tim Harding and Sarah Searle, BAO Systems
As the preferred health information system for 47 countries, DHIS 2 has become the gold standard for cloud based data capture, analysis, and publishing. Its extremely flexible data models allow for a wide variety of applications from large multinational implementations, to entire country health ministries, to small targeted projects. BAO will be providing a practical overview of DHIS 2, its current use cases, and the myriad of ways it can be deployed and used.

Session Level:

Beginner, Intermediate

Session Details:

Look out Excel! No longer will you need to trade USB sticks and email attachments to log and analyze your data. Don’t dread accidentally working on the out-of-date xlsx file, or losing all your work to a hard drive crash! With the growing pervasiveness of internet access, DHIS 2 is just the cloud data storage and analysis platform your project needs.

We want you to walk away from this session with a firm grasp on the potential this tool has for your current and future projects. We will start with a brief look at DHIS 2’s 20-year history and its roots in Norway, South Africa and India. We’ll review its major applications in the field, and provide a few case studies from a variety of setup types. Next, we’ll review the data models and the different ways you can create metadata and add dimensionality to your system. As always, an M&E platform is only as good as the data that is entered, so we’ll go over the online and offline tools you and your counterparts can utilize for data capture. And no health information system would be complete without a snazzy pie chart, GIS heat map, and a pivot table or two (or three or four), so we’ll be leaving you with an overview of the data analysis tools and publication options DHIS 2 comes with right out of the box.

Session Leads:

Nicola Hobby, Director of Service Delivery, BAO Systems. Nicola is the Director of Service Delivery at BAO Systems and has been the Organizing Chair of the DHIS 2 Symposium since 2015. Prior to joining BAO, Nicola worked in international public health for 11 years with Population Services International in a variety of positions. She has worked in over 20 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America leading or managing system strengthening initiatives. Nicola has extensive knowledge about implementing DHIS 2 as an enterprise-level MIS. As the Director of Service Delivery, she leads an international team to implement DHIS 2 for a variety of public health and development clients. More about Nicola here or at BAO Systems.

Sarah Searle, Project Implementation Manager, BAO Systems. In her role as Project Implementation Manager, Sarah works with clients and the BAO team across the globe to manage the iterative design and roll-out of DHIS 2. She is passionate about building systems that empower people to access and utilize high-quality data to make decisions. Sarah’s background is in health systems strengthening in low- and middle-income settings, particularly in the areas of reproductive, maternal, and newborn health, and she brings this global health lens to her work at BAO. Her work experience spans large NGOs, academic institutions, and small companies, and she holds a masters degree in public health. Sarah speaks Spanish and basic French and is based out of BAO Systems’ Washington, DC office. More about Sara here or at BAO Systems.

Tim Harding, Sr. Systems Analyst, BAO Systems. Tim has six years work experience with ETL (Extract, Transform and Load), data analysis, and end user education. He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Vanuatu, where he spent more than three years raising up the IT education of the young and old alike. During his time abroad, he worked with the WHO and Ministry of Health as they transitioned their HIS systems to DHIS2. Training end users both in the capital and on remote islands, he was an essential part of growing the HIS competency of their host country nationals. Before his service in the Peace Corps, Tim worked as an ETL specialist for an insurance company, playing a vital role in bringing new business through automated, secure data exchange. He speaks Bislama and holds a BS in Business Administration from Oregon State University. Learn more about Tim here and at BAO Systems.

Supplementary Materials:

If you’d like a leg up on the other participants you can head over to or even check out a demo here.