Optimizing digital data collection using DHIS2 in Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) programming: Malawi EMPOWER Experience​

Abstract presented at the DHIS 2 Annual Conference 2021 from 21 – 25 June


Authors: Nennie Lungu,1 Matthew Kankhulungo, 1 Linda Muyumbu, 1 Boniface Maket,1 Maria Mkandawire,Yona Nyondo,1 Leo Magombo1

1FHI 360, Malawi EMPOWER


The Expanding Malawi HIV/AIDS Prevention with Local Organizations Working for an Effective Epidemic (EMPOWER) project is a large-scale multifaceted program that provides sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and HIV services to more than 40,000 adolescent girls at 40 sites across Malawi. The project team used DHIS2 to ensure the availability of high-quality data in a timely manner to guide program design and inform mid-course corrections. This abstract describes how the DHIS2 tracker was implemented across diverse sites with limited internet connection to collect real-time data, reducing data transmission time, lowering data entry costs, and providing real time data for analysis and programming.


In June 2020, EMPOWER developed a database using DHIS2 tracker version 2.33.8 to capture longitudinal data for SRH/HIV services provided to AGYW during monthly community outreach. The DHIS2 tracker collects individual data and runs on both the computer and android devices for offline data capture. We conducted a one-week training for data entry clerks on data capture, cleaning and analytics using the DHIS2 tracker using tablets. Currently the tracker is deployed to capture individual level data at 40 community outreach sites for more than 40,000 AGYW monthly.


Using the DHIS2 tracker, we collected data at multiple outreach sites. DHIS2 tracker allows instant merging of longitudinal records unlike other routine statistical software packages where the process took more than a week to complete. Skip patterns and other internal data quality checks within the tracker help improve completeness and accuracy of data. EMPOWER can track HIV services among AGYW over-time to determine impact of its interventions. Using the DHIS2 tracker, EMPOWER has saved over $10,000 by purchasing tablets instead of computers as were previously needed. The tracker also enabled the project to efficiently develop analytical dashboards to track performance and thus aid in improving programming.


Use of DHIS2 tracker and app for longitudinal data collection for community outreach programs with large number of beneficiaries ensures data is collected and captured at different delivery points, times and merged instantly to inform programming, through real-time analytics within the platform. It also is cost effective and scalable.

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