“A poverty diagnosis and action planning tool at the Local Level”
This is an Entry to the Government Best Practice Recognition Awards
Barangay Health Worker Information System (BHWIS) for Gender and Development (GAD) Database Development
LGU Alaminos City
Best practice Focus Area(s)
Leadership – Convergence, Strategic Planning and Deployment, Strategic Performance Management – Knowledge Management and Information Technology
The leaders of Alaminos City avowed by their sworn duty to deliver the best public service and bring the quality of life equalities to its constituents explored and is continuously exploring innovations in the field of local governance. The city believes that local governance can only be achieved if its people will actively participate in the determination and discussion of issues and problems they are faced with. To make this happen, there is a need for reliable information that should be made readily available and accessible; thus, the city government decided to put up its own system. The goal is to develop an information system that could be used by the City to surface the needs, problems, and issues of various sectors in the city using a participatory approach. Hence, the Barangay Health Worker Information System (BHWIS) was born.
The Barangay Health Worker Information System (BHWIS), a system developed by LGU-Alaminos City in 2015, was carefully designed to achieve fair and responsible processing of data using an in-house system for convenience, better planning, and service delivery through the free flow of information while ensuring the demographic data is protected. This consumption of information produces knowledge. This knowledge can be used to make decisions, set policies, and even spark innovation.
Background and Problem
Anchored on the city’s vision statement on “its citizens to be healthy, well-educated and God-centered”, the City Government and its partners and various stakeholders in the communities like the Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) must work together to achieve this goal.
The BHWs are regarded as the frontliners-in-charge of the delivery of primary healthcare services. They work under the principle of volunteerism in the delivery of health services in the community. Be that as it may, they receive a minuscule amount of financial support in the form of honoraria from various barangays they work in. Fully aware of the important role played by the BHWs, the city government through the City Health Office (CHO) continue to seek to boost its healthcare services to its constituency while strengthening the knowledge and skills of the BHWs in delivery of quality health services in the communities.
In support of their noble task, the LGU has developed a computer application program known as BHWs Information System (BHWIS). Here, the basic information of the local residents and the exact location of their residential dwellings will be linked in a map through the integration of the existing Geographic Information System (GIS) Database of the City. With GIS linkage, information query can now go to the level of place of residence of the constituents.
In Alaminos City, the Barangay Health Worker Information System (BHWIS) program lays down the importance of information and principle of participation and the commitment of the LGU to respond to the needs of its people. Commitment, participation, persistence, and drive—these are intangible ideals that yield tangible results, as far as Alaminos City is concerned. In the end, the project has shown that a community would rally around a crucial issue—the wellbeing of its people.
Solution and Impact
Theory of Change :
- Challenges on Hesitation to Change. It was a challenge in program implementation to overcome the negative mindset of some of the BHWs considering that most of them were in the 40-60 age range thus, hesitation to technology and passive attitude was present.
- Administrative Load that hinders in the delivery of quality services. In the City of Alaminos, the existing ratio of BHW to Family is 1:20, which means it is way above the standard ratio as originally conceptualized by the Department of Health. Because of these, BWHs area of operation and the number of households they are required to serve is extensive, and given the fact that the reportorial documents were made or done through the traditional manual system, reportorial requirements are quite a challenge to them.
- Absence of Updated/Gender Database. Data gathering and city surveys are done seldom, processed manually and information gathered was kept and maintained separately by different offices/agencies. Worst, when data/statistics are compared, conflicting statistics are presented. Such a situation created disagreement as well as confusion which data should be used as a basis for decision making. Thus, time, effort, and resources are wasted.
BHWIS Project Development Phase (Steps)
- Project Identification Phase. After revisiting the existing BHWs household data gathering practices, the CHO recommended the sound development of a database information system that can provide available, reliable, and accessible data needs for planning. Consultations were also conducted and confirmed the difficult plight of BHWs in data gathering; this compelled the LGU to proceed with the development of an information system. Hence, the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) welcomed the challenge to address such needs to innovate and manage this vast and valuable untapped information.
- Program Design Phase. Includes tapping the talents and skills of CPDO personnel in systems development. In this phase, sustainable budgetary support is also considered.
- Project Preparation. Includes support activities and technology integration that will enhance the BHWs task as household profilers. They were made to understand and appreciate the process involved in the implementation, their roles, and the importance of the data gathering and the information generated from the project.
- Project Implementation Phase. Here, the basic information of the residents and their exact location will be linked in a map through the integration of the existing GIS Database of the City. With GIS linkage, information queries can now go to the level of place of residence of the constituents.
Results and Impacts :
- Cultural Impact
- Information on the Household, Family & Individual can now be viewed online and with the incorporation of digital pictures and biometrics, validation can be done easily.
- Economic and Political Impact
- Enhanced program planning and execution
- Produces better decisions since it will not only address the question of how many but also answers the question of who and where for better program design and intervention.
- Disaggregation of information by barangay and integrating it with GIS map will give the opportunity to policy and decision-makers on information pertaining to the level of development of the various barangays as compared to the others. This will eventually lead to better resource allocation and utilization
- Social Impact
- Lessen burden among BHWs and employees thus increasing productivity
- Enhanced participation of the community in various development projects
- Environmental Impact
- Reduction in the use of papers and other resources of the City
- Gender Equity
- The BHWIS will be the basis in crafting the City’s Gender and Development Plan.
- Reduced discretion leads to equal participation of all those who have transactions with the City whether male or female, young or old, rich or poor.
Remarkable Results :
- Optimized Available Human Resources. On workforce requirement, the CHO is below the ideal personnel population ratio which was immediately addressed by meeting the personnel requirement and enhanced the health volunteers’ capacities and capabilities.
- Optimized Case Findings. As for its efficiency in cases of finding TB clients, CHO was successful in the early detection and diagnosis of TB and has religiously monitored the patients’ compliance with medication.
- Meeting the Targets For Child Care. On Child Health, from an alarming record in 2014 to 2017, there was an appreciable improvement in the LGU’s health indicators particularly on the immunization coverage, the practice of breastfeeding, enhanced family planning program, and the prevalence of underweight children, thanks to the supplemental feeding program coupled with the intensive monitoring and supervision.
- Meeting the Targets For Maternal Care. On maternal healthcare, almost all indicators were consistently green meaning there was an enhanced family planning program for Zero Unmet Needs and there is a decrease in the number of births. As to the community health teams, it has recorded a 101% functionality. It also showed almost all of the pregnant women have delivered at a legitimately accredited birthing facility and recorded zero-maternal mortality. With the tablet provided to them and a house-to-house health education program on maternal care, prenatal, delivery, and postpartum care, pregnant women were convinced to avoid home deliveries. Rather, they will avail of the services of government and privately-owned birthing facilities.
- Optimized Profiling of Water and Sanitation. On Environmental Health, the community health volunteers were the key in the identification of houses/households without sanitary toilets and potable water.