Sharing best practice with Shiriki: Fjelltopp leads health informatics webinar

Date: 22nd August 2023

Are you looking for an expert to talk about specialist experience in integrating, managing and comprehending the most challenging aspects of public health data? Our CEO, Jonathan would be delighted to present on any of Fjelltopp’s work that may be of interest to you or your organisation.

Recently Jonathan was a speaker for a webinar hosted by Shiriki entitled ‘Data Catalogues for FAIR Health Data & Document Dissemination’. Watch the webinar below.

Who are Shiriki?

Shiriki is an informal community of people who work in global public health informatics.  There is a particular focus on HIV and TB, and therefore also a focus on low and middle income countries where these diseases tend to be most prevalent. The community is coordinated by CDC Atlanta but comprises individuals from around the globe working with Ministries of Health, NGOs, IGOs, as well as private sector partners such as Fjelltopp. Regular online webinars offer a platform for the community to meet, though other communications and regular newsletters are shared via their mailing list.

Fjelltopp has struggled to find professional communities within the public health informatics sector.  Shiriki has been a great place for us to learn and network with others.  Please do get in touch and tell us about any relevant professional communities you are part of.

What was the webinar about?

Jonathan led a webinar concerning our recent case study implementing a Document Management System for the Department of HIV and AIDS for the Malawi Ministry of Health (MOH).

Time and time again we have seen that a lack of data dissemination infrastructure has been obstructing progress towards better global health. But the process of data dissemination is still generally a very laborious, manual effort that places a huge pressure on already overloaded data management teams. 

Surely there has to be a better way? We think there is.

The Malawi MOH Dept of HIV and AIDS partnered with Fjelltopp and UNAIDS to implement a data catalogue using a popular open source platform to ensure that their data is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR).

FAIR is the starting point in maximising the impact of all the health data collected. We believe that improving data dissemination strategy has a positive impact on data quality and therefore the decisions that are made using that data.

Working together we created an open source data repository using CKAN’s pre-existing features as well as some tailor developed features. The result was a user-friendly, safe and centralised place for the client to store their datasets, reports and documents.

That’s why speaking in webinars like this is so important, to spread the word on how we can make a difference with digital when it comes to world health data.

The important stuff

Here’s the 5 key takeaways from this webinar:

  • Ministries of Health are responsible for rapidly increasing amounts of electronic data and reporting. In many of the countries Fjelltopp works with, much thought has been given to data collection and reporting, but little thought given to sound data dissemination.
  • Much of the finalised artefacts and outputs, perhaps taking the form of PDF reports or Excel Spreadsheets, are stored on private computers or in email inboxes, without appropriate metadata, long-term back-up or access control.
  • Instead the finalised data and reports collated and managed by Ministries of Health should be made FAIR – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable – by those who have a right of access.
  • Data catalogues bring together data AND metadata in a single digital repository in order to achieve this. The repository can also act as a long term internal data archive. 
  • CKAN is the world’s leading data cataloguing platform adopted by the public sector worldwide.  Fjelltopp believes the platform has a huge amount to offer to the public health and international development sector.  We can help you get a data catalogue set up quickly and for a low cost.

Where we go from here

CEO Jonathan really enjoyed delivering this webinar and talking about some of the work we’ve done at Fjelltopp in partnerships. Because at the end of the day, we just want to help make a better world for everyone when it comes to global health. 

If you’d like Jonathan to talk about any of our other projects, experience and work in a webinar – or if you’d just like to pick the Fjelltopp hive mind to see if we can help with your health data issue, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. No strings attached. 

You don’t need to sit wondering how to maintain CKAN, we’re here to help however little or as much as you may need. The goal is to harmonise your health data no matter how you get there.

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