E-Community Monitoring System

E-community monitoring system is community-driven data collection to strengthen decision-making and service delivery. E-community monitoring system (e-CMS) is an open-source mobile phone application that supports real-time community level data collection.

Demand side health challenges in many developing countries hinder national governments from achieving their policy goals. To overcome these challenges, community members need to be engaged in providing health education and extending basic services at community-level. However, three challenges are hindering achieving the full benefits of these programmes:

  • Communities are asked to deliver services but often not engaged in monitoring activities.
  • Monitoring activities often still occur through out-dated methods such as paper-based surveys.
  • Due to use of out-dated methods, health managers don’t have access to real time feedback and accurate data  to guide their decision making on how to improve services for underserved populations.

e-CMS provides a solution for community health workers and volunteers operating in rural remote areas.

e-CMS is customised to collect data on pregnant mothers and newborn babies, including vital birth and death registration. The community monitoring tool integrates with clinical data collected at facility level.

It complements DHIS2 data to inform senior service-level decision makers about demand side factors that influence maternal health-seeking behaviour.

Health Partners International’s hardware supports the implementation of E-Community Monitoring in areas with power-shortages and poor internet accessibility. It ensures that all data is hosted locally and securely.

E-Community Monitoring in Action

Country: Zambia
Scope: Twelve districts
Timeline: 2014 – 2016
Partners: Health Partners International (Lead), Development Data, Transaid
Funder: UK aid

MORE Mobilizing Access to Maternal Health Services in Zambia (MORE MAMaZ) is an innovative Zambian programme demonstrating the power of rural communities actively participating and collaborating with the formal health system to reduce preventable maternal mortality.

MORE MAMaZ demonstrated the success of a community health monitoring system. Community health volunteers were trained to routinely monitor and record maternal health indicators.

Data indicators included maternal and newborn deaths, facility and home deliveries, ANC uptake, participation in community health discussion and the utilisation of supportive resources such as the food bank, savings scheme and emergency transport scheme. Volunteers performed well in collecting data accurately and effectively. The data collected helped to inform health and management decision-making at a national level.

The practical possibility of implementing an electronic community monitoring system (e-CMS) was assessed during a field visit to Mkushi district, one of the five core MORE MAMaZ implementation sites in September 2016. Different stakeholders were engaged in the development of the application.

If you would like to learn more or speak to us to explore opportunities, please contact Pieter de Ruijter – Technical Lead, Healthcare Technology & ICT on info@healthpartners-int.co.uk