As low- and middle-income countries transition from paper to digital systems, family planning programs can benefit from unprecedented opportunities to improve services. Investments in digital health tools have expanded exponentially, but information on what works—and what does not— remains limited and scattered. As investments have increased, digital applications and data fragmentation have proliferated, but stakeholders are moving towards more coordinated efforts to scale digital health solutions, support countries’ digital health infrastructure, and share evidence-based learnings.
This Digital Health Compendium enables users to explore case studies across a range of digital health technologies used to enhance family planning programs mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, but also in other regions of the world. Digital health applications in family planning programs can be broadly classified as those affecting demand generation, service delivery, supply chain management, and the policy and enabling environment. In many low- and middle-income countries, digital health innovations were adopted earlier in other health sectors, including HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and noncommunicable disease prevention and response. As a result, much of the impact evidence is likewise restricted to those sectors. To advance greater adoption of digital technology in family planning programs, more data and information on the challenges, opportunities, scalability, and results are needed. This compendium aims to consolidate emerging information and data on applications of digital technology in family planning programs to inform adoption and scale-up of successful approaches.
All of the case studies were submitted by the implementing organizations and include a description of the digital health intervention, program context, and, if available, important findings and lessons learned through rigorous evaluations or program data. The compendium facilitates a quick search for case studies based on the target user for digital health intervention, building block for the digital health enabling environment, family planning program classification, and country location. The case studies give policy and program decisionmakers insights on real-world applications of digital health, promising practices, challenges, and other lessons that can be applied to current and future programs.
Explores and analyzes data regarding national issues of Guatemala
Senior Technical Advisor
Palladium in support of USAID
Data provided by MINFIN, MSPAS, OSAR, and ENSMI
Version 0.0.12 release date August 21, 2018; last updated May 25, 2019
Client, Health Care Provider, Data Services Provider
Strategy and Investment, Services and Applications
Policy and Enabling Environment
Health Policy Plus (HP+), named the Health and Education Policy Plus (HEP+) project in Guatemala, supports the government’s targeted health sector reform efforts while focusing on civil society, governance, and central-level planning and policies in the education, nutrition, and health sectors.
HEP+ develops tools that help people use data in policy decisionmaking and advocacy. In the past, only a small group of specialists could access data on government performance in the health and education sectors, and the systems and applications that housed this data were confusing and inefficient. HEP+ works with Country partners to address these challenges by:
OSAR is a mobile app designed for the youth branch of the Observatory for Sexual and Reproductive Health (OSAR) in Guatemala. The main objective of this app is to present data related to pregnancy, family planning, and maternal mortality. Its purpose is to be a tool that young people can use in their communities to promote change related to reproductive health by using data.
The app explores and analyzes data from the Ministry of Public Finance (MINFIN), the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare (MSPAS), OSAR, and ENSMI (National Survey on the Health of Mothers and Children) Survey Data. It includes a functionality for civil society to ask questions and report cases related to pregnancy in young people.
The representatives to the National Contraceptive Security Commission (CNAA) of the MSPAS, the Guatemalan Institute of Social Security (IGSS), Asociación Pro Bienestar de la Familia de Guatemala (APROFAM), and Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) are responsible for the data entry of their institutions on the dates scheduled and agreed in the commission. An internal commission of the CNAA verifies the information, and if it observes any inconsistency, notifies the responsible institution. Once the problem is resolved, the information is backed up to make it official. The calculation of the indicators is done automatically and a data update is scheduled for every 15 days; this is updated only when all reporting institutions have entered the information to date.
The application was launched in April 2019 and has been promoted and used by the OSAR Youth, OSAR’s youth branch, to display information with different audiences, mainly related to teenage pregnancy.
OSAR Youth participates in different multisectoral commissions, such as the CNAA and the Prevent with Education Board, to promote comprehensive sexuality education in public establishments, among others, and OSAR Youth promotes the use of the app in these spaces.
The information products are being used by users to inform health policy design and to track the performance of social assistance delivery to advocate for resources. The following statistics on usage are available, as of May 9, 2020:
Due to the short run-time of the app, success stories have yet to be documented.