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Health management information systems (HMISs) are essential in programme planning, budgeting, monitoring and evidence-informed decision-making. This paper focuses on donor transitions in two upper-middle-income countries, China and Georgia, and explores how national HMIS adaptations were made and what facilitated or limited successful and sustainable transitions. This comparative analytical case study uses a policy triangle framework and a mixed-methods approach to explore how and why adaptations in the HMIS occurred under the Gavi Alliance and the Global Fund-supported programmes in China and Georgia. A review of published and grey literature, key informant interviews and administrative data analysis informed the study findings. Contextual factors such as the global and country context, and health system and programme needs drove HMIS developments. Other factors included accountability on a national and international level; improvements in HMIS governance by establishing national regulations for clear mandates of data collection and reporting rules and creating institutional spaces for data use; investing in hardware, software and human resources to ensure regular and reliable data generation; and capacitating national players to use data in evidence-based decision-making for programme and transition planning, budgeting and outcome monitoring. Not all the HMIS initiatives supported by donors were sustained and transitioned. For the successful adaptation and sustainable transition, five interlinked and closely coordinated support areas need to be considered: (1) coupling programme design with a good understanding of the country context while considering domestic and external demands for information, (2) regulating appropriate governance and management arrangements enhancing country ownership, (3) avoiding silo HMIS solutions and taking integrative approach, (4) ensuring the transition of funding onto domestic budget and enforcing fulfilment of the government's financial commitments and finally (5) investing in technologies and skilled human resources for the HMIS throughout all levels of the health system. Neglecting any of these elements risks not delivering sustainable outcomes.

Original publication




Journal article


Health Policy Plan

Publication Date





i9 - i20


China, Georgia, Health management information system, adaptation, donor transition, sustainability, upper-middle-income countries, Humans, Georgia, Data Systems, China, Budgets, Data Collection