HRIS Strengthening Activities in Botswana

Botswana is the newest country where we are implementing our HRIS strengthening process. Like many of the countries in Africa, Botswana is experiencing a shortage of health workers. However, due to a lack of timely, reliable and accurate data about the number and skill mix of health workers, the gap between the country’s current resources and those required to address healthcare needs is unknown. Furthermore, decision-makers do not have the access to routine data for monitoring and reviewing HRH plans and policies, resulting in a mismatch between service requirements and training, both in numbers and skills, and inequity in the distribution of the available human resources. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has further strained resources, increasing the demand for health services like treatment and prevention, while at the same time decreasing the number of health workers.

Although strides have been made in many areas towards establishing sustainable HRIS in Botswana, the databases are still fragmented and do not provide complete integrated HRH information for planning and management in a sustainable way. The different systems do not interact with one another and the capability to convert data into useful information for regular data analysis is limited. The databases need to be consolidated and linked to produce complete, integrated, coherent HRH information for users.

The goal of the Capacity Project’s work in Botswana is to strengthen routine HR information systems, as well as policy and management decision-making processes, in order to improve service delivery for HIV/AIDS, PMTCT and other health needs. We have been able to quickly apply what we have learned to implement an HRIS in Botswana. Over the past three months, we have installed iHRIS Manage, trained data entry clerks and begun data entry. We have also worked with the Stakeholder Leadership Group to define key policy and management questions for the system, and we have begun implementing a routine data collection process to regularly update health worker data from all of the health facilities in the country.

Stay tuned for more exciting news about our work in Botswana.