Several countries on the African continent have started deploying DHIS2 for education since 2018. The objective of the pilot in Sri Lanka was to explore how DHIS2 can be utilised for information requirements in the education sector, given the number of similarities in information requirements when compared to health.
Setting up a successful implementation of DHIS2 requires years of experience and learning of the context. Hence, our approach was to learn from experience in implementing DHIS2 in health domain and adopt best practices for speeding up the establishment of DHIS2 for education.
The education sector gathers school census data on a paper-based information system annually, assisted by the Department of Census and Statistics of Sri Lanka. It is well understood, that transmission frequencies need to be increased as practiced in the health sector, along with appropriate monitoring mechanisms set up at intermediate levels. In addition, practices in the education sector incorporates transmitting data from school level to national level through several digital solutions including free and open-source platforms. However, they are fragmented digital information systems in comparison to the health sector.
The Ministry has in-house expertise both in ICT and education domains. The strong presence of resources at the provincial level is another positive factor that could facilitate the implementation of systems in the education sector. Infrastructure is generally satisfactory in national schools which are spread across the country which could be a good focus for the initiation of implementing information systems.
The approach has been to establish an information system owned, implemented, and maintained by the Ministry of Education. The selection of DHIS2 to set up the information flow from school to national level was largely driven by its open-source and community-driven nature that facilitates the sustainability of the platform.
For more information contact: Dr. Pamod Amarakoon, HISP Sri Lanka