TCI Workshop Inspires Family Planning Providers in Arusha, Tanzania, to Use Data for Decision-Making

Jun 13, 2019

Through a mix of demonstrations, Dr. Luhunga educates her peers on data use.

Contributors: Charles Mushi and Njeri Mbugua

Using data when making decisions in family planning programming is an ongoing challenge for many health care workers. Family planning programs need to deliver commodities and services while also collecting data to track progress toward national goals. The Government of Tanzania is committed to improving and increasing access to reproductive health services, including family planning. However, a lack of supportive data to implement successful programs remains a challenge.

During a data for decision-making workshop for implementing cities organized by The Challenge Initiative (locally implemented in Tanzania as Tupange Pamoja), Dr. Esther Luhunga, the Assistant District Medical Officer with the Arusha District Council, said collecting service statistics at facilities has helped inform decision-making.

“I have seen the challenges of inaccurate data as it affects resources allocated to us,” Luhunga said. “We need to reinforce a change to us owning the data for ‘use by us’ and quality data with understandable information for action.”

Since the workshop, the use of data for decision-making is going well and Arusha District has demonstrated its commitment to strengthening data collection systems by allocating funds. Luhunga has been taking a lead role in addressing key barriers related to data issues at her facility. She has been resourceful too, even offering to coach and mentor her peers based on what she learned from the training.

“We did not know how valuable data was for successful family planning,” she said. “We are now receiving accurate reports including better reporting for other partner programs.“

Luhunga is now on the frontlines of ensuring data is used during regular program review meetings. Find out more about Data for Decision-making, one of the proven approaches found in TCI University.