Original Research

The Health Management Information System and HIV and AIDS monitoring: Insights from Ethiopia

Befekadu E. Dekita, Mokholelana M. Ramukumba
South African Journal of Information Management | Vol 26, No 1 | a1726 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v26i1.1726 | © 2024 Befekadu E. Dekita, Mokholelana M. Ramukumba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 June 2023 | Published: 26 April 2024

About the author(s)

Befekadu E. Dekita, Department of Health Studies, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Mokholelana M. Ramukumba, Department of Health Studies, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


Background: A well-performing health information system (HIS) provides timely, complete, accurate and easily retrievable data. However, HIS in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), including Ethiopia, is highly complex and influenced by pressures from donors, politics and technical factors. Hence, these countries experience persistent challenges in producing quality data and difficulties using health management information system (HMIS) data from their HISs.

Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate how HMIS was perceived and utilised in HIV and AIDS monitoring in Ethiopia, and views regarding the influence of determinants on the use of HMIS.

Method: A qualitative evaluative case study using focus group discussions with data producers and users was conducted in selected health facility in Addis Ababa. A purposive critical case sampling was used to recruit participants.

Results: Key findings revealed that HIV and AIDS-specific indicators, information and communication technology (ICT) and other related resources were critical barriers to the successful use of the HMIS. Participants believed these technical issues impacted the quality of data adversely and, subsequently, the conversion of that data to information and using it to monitor the HIV and AIDS programme’s performance.

Conclusion: Technical factors affected all strategic decisions taken by the organisation. The health facilities did not process information as expected. However, staff performed the HMIS tasks with the tools available as they tried to make sense of data.

Contribution: This study contributed to the body of knowledge by identifying the technical factors on data quality and use of HMIS for HIV and AIDS monitoring.


technical determinants; Health Information System; Health Management Information System; HIV and AIDS; monitoring and evaluation

JEL Codes

I18: Government Policy • Regulation • Public Health

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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