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Integrated health information systems in Tanzania: experience and challenges

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Health is a serious development issue. The perceived link between health and development has been articulated in much of the policy and academic literature resulting in many initiatives to introduce integrated health information systems at the local level. Despite huge investments made in this direction, these systems have not made any radical impact on the delivery of healthcare for local communities. Drawing on empirical work in Tanzania, we argue that this has been because of the adoption of a narrow, managerialist perspective of “integration”. We propose instead an interpretation of integration from a variety of standpoints; development studies, management, and sociology. According to this approach, it is not just data that is integrated, but ways of working and the social relations which support the health information systems at global, national and local levels. In our discussion section, we broaden the scope of integrated health information systems to consider the integration of not just management information but also epidemiological data.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/31206/

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