6.2. Strategies for training

To cover the wide array of tasks/users listed above, a training strategy is helpful. The majority of users will be at lower level; entering and using data. Only a few will have to know the database in-depth, usually at national level. The following are useful tips for end-user training strategies.

6.2.1. Training of trainers

Since the number of units and staff increase exponentially for each level (a country may have many provinces, each with many districts, each with many facilities), training of trainers is the first step. The number of trainers will vary, depending on the speed of implementation envisioned. As described below, both workshops and on-site training are useful, and especially for the on-site training many people will be needed.

The trainers should be at least at the level of advanced users, in addition knowing how the database is designed, how to install and troubleshoot DHIS2, and some issues of epidemiology, i.e. concepts that are useful for monitoring and evaluation of health services. As the capabilities of the staff increase, the trainers would also need to increase their skills.

6.2.2. Workshops and on-site training

Experience has showed that training both in workshops/training sessions, and on-site in real work situations are complementary. Workshops are better for training many at the same time, and are useful early on in the training sessions. Preferably the same type of users should be trained.

On-site training takes place at the work-place of the staff. It is useful to have run a more organized training session like in a workshop before, so that on-site training can focus on special issues the individual staff need more training on. Training on-site will involve less people, so it will be possible to include different types of users. An example would be a district training, where the district information officers and the district medical officer can be trained together. The communication between different users is important in the sense that it forms a common understanding of what is needed, and what is possible. Training can typically be centred around local requirements such as producing outputs (reports, charts, maps) that would be useful for local decision-support.

6.2.3. Continuation of training

Training is not a one off thing. A multi-level training strategy would aim at providing regular training as the skills of the staff increase. For example, a workshop on data entry and validation should be followed by another workshop on report generation and data analysis some time later. Regular training should also be offered to new staff, and when large changes are made to the system, such as redesign of all data collection forms.