From 25-29 April 2022, the first DHIS2 for Education Academy was held in Banjul, The Gambia, co-hosted by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, The Gambia and the University of Oslo. The Academy was an opportunity to facilitate learning and sharing where researchers, DHIS2 implementers, Ministry officials and members of the education community interacted to generate knowledge. Topics discussed were the need for systematic data collection and analysis based on shared international standards, how to improve education data utilization at multiple levels of national education systems and how to scale well-functioning education data-use innovations and software configurations across countries through the cultivation of a knowledge-sharing ecosystem.
The Academy was attended by 113 participants from 18 countries, including 8 Ministries of Education from The Gambia, Mozambique, Uganda, Eswatini, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Benue State, Nigeria. Partners included fellow Global Partnership for Education Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (GPE KIX) grantees the African Union Pan African Institute of Education for Development (AU-IPED), the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and UNICEF HQ Data Must Speak as well as GPE, UNESCO Dakar and Banjul, UNICEF Gambia and Eswatini, GPE Knowledge & Innovation Exchange (KIX) on Education and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).
A joint communique (English│French) was developed as a key outcome of the Academy, consolidating the commitment of partners to work in tandem and in complementarity with one another. The communique is a synthesis of key focus areas of discussion throughout the week and was endorsed by the 113 participants. It includes a commitment from all signatories to make every effort to collectively take forward and facilitate the implementation of the following through their plans and programmes:
- National EMIS harmonization processes
- Capacity building
- Develop and package appropriate messages to put forward the case for using DHIS2 for EMIS
- Addressing the missing data
- Leveraging cross sector linkages
- Strengthen the DHIS2 Academy community of practice and create national community of practices
From its conception, the development of the DHIS2 platform has taken a participatory approach to understanding how information systems can meet local needs in a robust and sustainable manner. Fostering a resilient information ecosystem requires a long-term focus on building capacity and community. This joint communique is a true representation of that approach and paves a positive way forward for us all as a wider EMIS community.