In recent years, Indonesia has dramatically reduced childhood stunting – failure to reach proper height – by improving nutrition during pregnancy and early childhood. The SIGIZI nutrition information system was supposed to help health workers, community health centre officers, district and provincial health officials, and the Ministry of Health. Despite its potential, early use revealed issues such as inconsistent data collection methods and suboptimal data use. The Ministry turned to UN Global Pulse and UNICEF to identify and rectify implementation gaps.

Through a mixed-methods approach of surveys, in-depth interviews, and user flow mapping, several challenges were identified, including system design limitations, user interface issues and a gap between data collection and actionable insights. This comprehensive analysis resulted in actionable recommendations, both long-term, aligning with the Ministry of Health’s Digital Health Transformation Strategy, and immediate, such as standardized templates, data anomaly alerts, and recommendation generators.

Our impact

Our analysis revealed limitations in the design of the system, difficulties in using it, and a failure of data collection to lead to useful insights. We recommended standardised templates, data anomaly alerts, and other changs to make the system more user-friendly. Further long-term recommendations should align the system with the Ministry of Health’s Digital Health Transformation Strategy.

The Ministry continues to refine the system with a view to improving data collection, analysis, and resulting interventions, with continuing assessment and support from Global Pulse Jakarta and UNICEF.  With improvements, the system could transform Indonesia’s progress in tackling malnutrition and stunting.

Our lessons

  • Systems can only work if they are designed with end users in mind.
  • Robust, user-friendly data systems are essential for effective policy making and intervention in public health.

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