“With Technical Support You Learn to Fish”

Sarah DwyerWorking on the CapacityPlus project, I’m always excited to see capacity-building in action and hear how local leaders are strengthening the health workforce. Recently I learned about a terrific story from West Africa and wanted to help share it.

Building local ability to gather and use data
At the Health Information System Unconference in Accra, CapacityPlus’s Dykki Settle interviewed Kayode Odusote of the West African Health Organization (WAHO). Professor Odusote is helping WAHO’s member countries gather and use health worker data to make decisions about the health workforce.

In this piece from the CapacityPlus Voices series, Professor Odusote talks about a successful pilot in Ghana using iHRIS software. He emphasizes that the capacity-building aspect of WAHO’s partnership with our project is really what he values. “It’s a technical partnership,” he points out, “and basically for me that is much more than money. If you can build a core nucleus of local capacity,” he says, that has everything to do with sustainability.

In short, “with technical support you learn to fish,” says Professor Odusote, “and therefore you’re able to feed yourself much longer.”

Keys for sustainability
Incidentally, as I listened to Josh Nesbit of Frontline:SMS speak with IntraHealth International staff about mHealth, I kept hearing the same ideas that Professor Odusote emphasized:

  • The power of Open Source
  • The value of building local capacity
  • The key role of local developers.

It’s exciting to see these ideas in action, and I look forward to sharing more stories like this one.

In his own words
Read “Worth More than Any Money:” Building Local Capacity in Health Worker Information Systems, featuring Kayode Odusote’s experiences in his own words. To learn more, check out: