Banyan Global Leverages the Power of Health Data Interoperability to Enhance Nigeria’s Health Worker Information Systems
February 2024

By Anddy Omoluabi, Health Workforce Management Activity Country Director, and Kelly Blewitt, Banyan Global Program Coordinator

Banyan Global, a women-owned small business, upholds the belief that a skilled and motivated healthcare workforce is essential for a strong and resilient health system that effectively meets the needs of the population. As the prime implementer of the five-year, $19 million United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Nigeria Health Workforce Management (HWM) Activity, Banyan Global is supporting the production of a cost‐effective and well-trained health workforce, particularly for deployment to rural, remote, and hard-to-reach areas in Bauchi, Ebonyi, Kebbi, and Sokoto States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Specifically, HWM is strengthening the pre-service training learning environment and in-service training program; strengthening governance and management of the health workforce; conducting human resources for health (HRH) research to improve HRH practices and retention mechanisms; and working with local partners to strengthen the country’s human resources information system (HRIS).

A well-functioning HRIS is critical to improving a county’s ability to strengthen human resources for health. In Nigeria, Banyan Global is working to strengthen the HRIS to increase the Federal and State governments’ capacities to plan, recruit, train, deploy, and retain nurses, midwives, and community health workers. The HWM Activity is leading efforts to strengthen governance structures; institutionalize standard operating procedures for HRH data management; and collect, clean, and update HRH data in the State Health Workforce Registries for submission to the National Health Workforce Registry. Using the State Health Workforce Registries, the HWM Activity developed State Health Workforce Profiles that offer a detailed overview of each State’s health workforce and identify the HRH gaps. Informed by evidence from these profiles, the HWM Activity and State HRH officials developed Actionable Reports to guide decision-making and promote accountability in HRH recruitment and deployment for each State. The HWM Activity is currently supporting advocacy initiatives utilizing these reports.

To further expand access, ownership, and utilization of HRH data, the HWM Activity upgraded, customized, and deployed the fifth version of the Integrated Human Resources for Health Information System (iHRIS 5.0) based on the Fast Health Interoperability Resource (FHIR) standards. The adoption of FHIR standards simplifies the sharing of healthcare data among different providers and applications.

With the data analysis and reporting functions of iHRIS 5.0, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Kebbi, and Sokoto States and the FCT can more efficiently track health worker training, qualification, availability, and deployment. The launch of iHRIS 5.0 has increased the ability of State HRH Managers to manage the facilities and health workers in each Local Government Area and Ward. iHRIS 5.0 allows HRH Managers to drill down to the micro level and track individual health workers from in-service training to service deployment to continuous professional development.

A screenshot of a computer

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A snapshot of the demo version of iHRIS 5.0’s data analysis and reporting capabilities.

“The HWM Activity’s next major initiative will explore developing a mobile app, allowing health workers whose data are already in the State Health Workforce Registries to update their own records in real time,” said HWM Country Director Anddy Omoluabi. “This will not only eliminate outdated data in the registries but also result in significant cost savings.”

In November 2023 in Ekiti State, the HWM Activity team showcased its transformative HRIS work at the 64th National Council on Health meeting, which serves as Nigeria’s highest health policy-making body.

Participants eagerly await the next technical session at the 64th NCH meeting.

This meeting included over 200 participants, including Federal Coordinating Minister for Health and Social Welfare Muhammad Ali Pate, National Primary Health Care Development Agency Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Muyi Aina, State Commissioners for Health, and development partners.

The HWM presentation entitled “Demystifying the Health Workforce Registry: Rethinking HRH Deployment and Distribution” illustrated the power of State Health Workforce Registries and the iHRIS platform to enable data-driven decision-making for effective and efficient health workforce management. Following the presentation, the HWM Activity received expressions of interest from the other 32 States in establishing local versions of iHRIS to strengthen their own capacities.

“The HWM Activity has done most of the heavy lifting to customize iHRIS 5.0 to the Nigerian health context,” said Dr. Omoluabi. “I hope that other States can take advantage of what we have done to address their health workforce management challenges.”

Banyan Global, through the HWM Activity, has an unwavering commitment to advancing innovations to help Nigeria address its health system challenges. It is clear that continuous innovation, rooted in the principles of technical excellence, multisectoral collaboration, and local ownership, is the driving force behind the success of the HWM Activity. In the ever-evolving landscape of global development, these principles will ensure development work not only meets the needs of the present but also paves the way for a resilient and sustainable future.


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