XVIII. Global Healthsites Mapping Project

Interaction type Public → Government → Public
Trigger event Amongst other issues the Ebola epidemic in West Africa (2013-2016)
Domain Health
Organisation Global Healthsites Mapping Project
Actors Rwandan Minstry of Health, Tanzanian Ministry of Health, International Committee of the Red Cross, World Health Organisation, Health Informatics Society of Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Ministry of Disaster Management, Open Data for Resilience Initiative, MissingMaps initiative, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, CartoNG, London Imperial College School of Public Health, OCHA, Handicap International, HealthMap, International Society for Infectious Diseases, UNICEF, International Hospital Federation, InSTEDD | Inovative Support To Emergencies Diseases and Disasters, mySociety, Open Knowledge International, Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) – UCL, OpenStreetMap.org, British Red Cross, Humanitarian Innovation Fund, Kartoza, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Data sets The dataset produced is a Geolocated health care facility dataset with a limited set of attributes focused on facility type, location and essential services available. Data is also imported directly from OpenStreetMap and other trusted provides of geolocated health data and information.
Process Health facility data is imported from OpenStreetMap and exposed to interested parties with an invitation to improve the accuracy of the data. This curated data is then shared openly under the ODbL data license through downloadable shape files and an open API. The process is working towards completing the data lifecycle and returning enriched data back to OpenStreetMap. Citizens can also edit the health facility data by logging into the Healthsites mapping project website with their social media accounts.
Feedback “Citizens can log on and edit the information about health facilities. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as the initial supporter of the project has established an effective global baseline of health facilities.

The Global Healthsites Mapping Project will make the data accessible over the Internet through an API and other formats such as GeoJSON, Shape files, KML, CSV “

Goal Long term curation and validation of health care location data – essentially an open data commons of health facility data. The healthsites.io map will enable users to discover what healthcare facilities exist at any global location and the associated services and resources.
Side effects “Intended future feedback of updated health facility information back into OpenStreetMap

 

The ability for wider reuse of health facility data and information for applications and citizen use – the data will be made available in formats such as KML, GeoJSON, etc. “

Impact of the project Impact to the governmental body
Temporal pattern Ongoing Process
Funding of the project Within the MoU between the healthsites.io platform and partners is to shared intention to sustain and seek out ways to sustain (in terms of financial, infrastructural and human resources) the continued development, and improvement of the healthsites.io platform as the existence of this data in the commons will help community, civil society and governmental organisations to make health facilities more accessible and relevant to the communities that they serve.
Contact point Mark Herringer

The mission of Global Healthsites Mapping Project is to help supply governments, NGOs, and the private sector with accurate and up-to-date health facility information. Health facility registers are the building blocks of a well-functioning health information system within a country. Accurate and up-to-date data provides the basic data that helps drive activities like service availability planning, monitoring and evaluation, and disaster risk preparedness. The project is in a pilot phase and is inviting Governments, NGOs and individuals to share data and establish an open data commons of health facility data with OpenStreetMap.

The incentive and driver for this project was, among other emergencies, the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. These regions have low resources and a very great need for infrastructure support. Exposure to Primary Health Care work and a goal of sharing this knowledge and insight in an open development context initiated the project. The Ebole response then presented a real need for accurate health facility data.

The dataset produced is a Geolocated health care facility dataset with a limited set of attributes focused on facility type, location and essential services available. Data is also imported directly from OpenStreetMap and other trusted provides of geolocated health data and information. Health facility data is imported from OpenStreetMap and exposed to interested parties with an invitation to improve the accuracy of the data. This curated data is then shared openly under the ODbL data license through downloadable shape files and an open API. The process is working towards completing the data lifecycle and returning enriched data back to OpenStreetMap. Citizens can also edit the health facility data by logging into the Healthsites mapping project website with their social media accounts. OpenStreetMap is seen as the baseline repository for this data.

There are a number of positives visible here. Commons based peer production is process that is well suited to uniting efforts in support of Sustainable Development Goals. Limiting the Healthsite attributes on the geographic data has allowed us to query OpenStreetMap relatively easily and make successful Freedom of Information Requests. The open architecture and open development approach invites contributions and insights. Citizens can easily edit the data within the Healthsite databases by using their social media identification for authentication. As an open source this project publishes all of the data as open data. The crowd is continually invited to engage in an Agile development process.

There are some negatives in relation to the project. Project communications have been slow with some project partners. At the time of writing, June 2017, the project has not yet deployed operationally. Operational deployment is essential as it will assist in driving the feedback process. Another problematic area surrounds the question of data sharing. Organisations are cautious to share Healthsite data as they are concerned with the liability and quality of Volunteered Geographic Information.

There is a hesitancy to directly associate with a Healthsite update. This is a fundamental requirement of Open data. Unfortunatley there is a lack of consolidated learnings from end users and to date there is no operational use case and working agreement with end users in an organised innovation process that generates and integrates evidence to guide the project and define the social business model. The underlying assumption is that Healthsites will improve health outcomes through the publication of accurate and up to date open health facility data. Until this assumption is tested it is difficult to quantify the value of accurate health facility data and make a business case that is aligned with the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.

Main Lessons:

  • Ebola response created a real need for accurate health facility data in areas with low resources and limited infrastructure.
  • Great contribution of various actors who have launched a pilot project and are actively involved making it work.
  • Citizens can easily edit the data by using their social media identification for authentication. Thus, registration process may be bypassed.
  • Organisations are cautious to share Healthsite data as they are concerned with the liability and quality of VGI.
  • The project has not yet deployed operationally which means that its side effects are still unknown.
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