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Publication date: 
January 28, 2015

Photo by Energy for All 2030/Flikr Creative Commons. Ghana, 2009

Seattle, WA – Several nationally representative datasets detailing facility-level information ranging from stock-outs of essential medicines to patient volumes are now publicly available – a multicountry resource viewed as critical to assessing health facility performance, costs of producing health services, and how patients interact with their health systems.

This is the first time in recent history that such large, fine-grained databases on health facility capacity, service production, and financial data have been publicly released. All datasets and instruments used for data collection can be downloaded from IHME’s Global Health Data Exchange (GHDx).

“Having these data available to the public is, in many ways, a game-changer,” said Dr. Cristian Baeza, IHME’s Director for Health Systems Solutions and recognized expert in health care financing. “It’s very rare to have access to such detailed data when you weren’t directly involved in the original project. Now anyone, whether it’s a Ministry of Health’s M&E [Monitoring & Evaluation] advisor or policy officer at the Global Fund, can use this information to identify where health systems are delivering – and where we should invest to improve on inefficiencies or gaps in care.”

These data were collected as part of the Access, Bottlenecks, Costs, and Equity (ABCE) project, a study that takes place in several countries and aims to quantify the drivers of optimal health service provision, cost-effectiveness of intervention packages, and more equitable population health outcomes.

All data were methodologically collected, verified, cleaned, and analyzed by the ABCE team, a group of researchers, project officers, and field staff from several countries. This data release covers datasets from Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia – four of the countries first involved in the ABCE project, which has been active since 2011. Much of the data collection effort was led by ABCE country partners: the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and UNICEF in Ghana, Action Africa Help-International (AAH-I) in Kenya, the Infectious Diseases Research Collaboration (IDRC) in Uganda, and the University of Zambia (UNZA) in Zambia.

Policy reports were made publicly available for Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia in October 2014, and the report for Ghana was finalized in parallel with the data launch. These reports provide an in-depth examination of the factors that affect health service provision in each country. Findings on facility costs of service provision, the efficiency with which different types of facilities operate, and constraints to care are also presented. For Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia, there is a special focus on better understanding characteristics of facility-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) programs and HIV-positive patients.

To learn more about the ABCE project or ask specific ABCE-related data questions, please contact [email protected].