Design of health information systems in Zimbabwe

Health Information Needs for the Population Health System in Zimbabwe

Active project
Sponsor: EcoVida Foundation
Participants: Health care professionals in Zimbabwe

Dr. Brad Doebbeling (PI), Dr. Allie Peckham, and Dr. Mauricio Mejía will study and propose how to design health information systems in Zimbabwe. We will work with medical stakeholders in Zimbabwe to first understand decision-making and clinical challenges and second co-design with them alternatives to make health information accessible using technology and best practices.

Executive Summary: In sub-Saharan areas of Africa, many countries have limited healthcare facilities that provide urgent and emergent care and maternal and child health. Most health care in rural and remote areas is provided by nurses or nurse practitioners, who are located at a distance from regional hospitals. People struggle to determine whether they should seek medical attention, since travel and ultimate cost of treatment requires considerable effort and can negatively affect financial stability. In order to assess factors affecting healthcare decision-making and clinical practice, we propose an eight-month feasibility study involving rapid ethnography with medical stakeholders in Zimbabwe, information systems literature review and a participatory design component. The study will identify opportunities and envision alternatives to make health information accessible using technology and best practices. This process will improve access to care and help provide quality outcomes for the most resource-constrained parts of the population. The ultimate goal is to establish a normalized model of healthcare delivery for use by governments and NGOs across the Sub-Saharan region.


  • In-depth interviews
  • Participatory design
  • Case study research