knowledge management for development

Findings on Health Information Needs in Malawi: Something for Everyone

(This post was originally published on the K4Health Blog)

By Scott Dalessandro

Whether you’re passionate about the health information needs of community health workers and policy makers in Malawi, or are interested in learning the preferred formats and methods to receive and find that information, you’re sure to find something interesting in K4Health’s latest report, Malawi: Assessment of Information Needs Among Health Managers and Service Providers.

K4Health’s analysis and summary of key findings reports on three months of research conducted in the capital city Lilongwe and three other districts. As we are committed to ensuring that our project’s activities meet real demands for health information products and services, this K4Health study sought input from all levels of the health service system, from remote community health workers all the way up to national policy makers.

Not surprisingly, many findings were consistent with the global K4Health Environment Scan, including those that touch on barriers to accessing health information, preferred formats and methods for finding and using health information resources, and potential applications for new technologies and other communication tools.

The Malawi-specific assessment provides excellent insight into how K4Health can work to provide a useful means to address the unique needs of local health professionals and other key players. For example, our finding that Malawi already has a number of relevant networks and technical working groups means that we can work in partnership with and strengthen existing communities of practice. Other locally important realities, such that Malawi “lacks a reading culture” or that local language materials are in short supply, will be important to consider for developing successful strategies.

For the executive summary and full report on the Malawi study’s results and recommendations, you can check out the full analysis and summary of key findings. We encourage you to use the data to inform your own project(s). If you have any questions, you can also contact the needs assessment team at needsassessment@k4health.org.

Scott Dalessandro, Communications Specialist & Toolkit Coordinator

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Tags: Health, Information, Malawi, and, communicaiton, knowledge, management, technology

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