In 2009, K4Health conducted a qualitative assessment of information needs of health care professionals in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. The needs assessment was part of a multi-country initiative to examine information needs and information exchange at different levels of the health system, identify knowledge management gaps in the system, and explore opportunities for filling these gaps.
Little is known about how health care workers in Uttar Pradesh define, obtain, and apply information in the course of their work. To better understand health information needs and barriers across all levels of the health care system, K4Health conducted a needs assessment, which consisted of 46 key informant interviews and 9 focus group discussions. Key informants included state-level officials from the National Rural Health Mission, district and block officials, auxiliary nurse-midwives (ANMs), accredited social health activists (ASHAs), officers from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and staff of nongovernmental and other professional organizations. The focus group discussions included grassroots workers, such as ANMs and ASHAs, and community representatives.
Results of the needs assessment indicated that information needs varied across the health system and encompass both programmatic and service delivery information.
- Policy makers required evidence-based information.
- At the district level, health care professionals need information related to program implementation, such as guidelines.
- At the grassroots level, health care workers in villages need access to a wide range of technical and practical information to help them address a number of primary health care needs.
At all levels, providing "actionable" information is key to strengthening the health system and improving the quality of services. The exponential growth of ICTs, particularly of mobile phones, could have a profound impact on information access and use at certain levels of the health system
Dissemination of results from the needs assessment took place in country in April 2010.
Project Duration: September–November 2009
Funding: USAID core funds
Partners: USAID, National Rural Health Mission