10.2. Organisation unit groups and group sets

In DHIS2, organisation units can be grouped in organisation unit groups, and these groups can be further organised into group sets. Together they can mimic an alternative organisational hierarchy which can be used when creating reports and other data output. In addition to representing alternative geographical locations not part of the main hierarchy, these groups are useful for assigning classification schemes to health facilities, e.g. based on the type or ownership of the facilities. Any number of group sets and groups can be defined in the application through the user interface, and all these are defined locally for each DHIS2 database.

An example illustrates this best: Typically one would want to provide analysis based on the ownership of the facilities. In that case one would create a group for each ownership type, for instance “MoH”, “Private” and “NGO”. All facilities in the database must then be classified and assigned to one and only one of these three groups. Next one would create a group set called “Ownership” to which the three groups above are assigned, as illustrated in the figure below.

In a similar way one can create a group set for an additional administrative level, e.g. local councils. All local councils must be defined as organisation unit groups and then assigned to a group set called “Local Council”. The final step is then to assign all health facilities to one and only one of the local council groups. This enables the DHIS2 to produce aggregate reports by each local council (adding together data for all assigned health facilities) without having to include the local council level in the main organisational hierarchy. The same approach can be followed for any additional administrative or geographical level that is needed, with one group set per additional level. Before going ahead and designing this in DHIS2, a mapping between the areas of the additional geographical level and the health facilities in each area is needed.

A key property of the group set concept in DHIS2 to understand is exclusivity, which implies that an organisation unit can be member of exactly one of the groups in a group set. A violation of this rule would lead to duplication of data when aggregating health facility data by the different groups, as a facility assigned to two groups in the same group set would be counted twice.

With this structure in place, DHIS2 can provide aggregated data for each of the organisation unit ownership types through the “Organisation unit group set report” in “Reporting” module or through the Excel pivot table third-party tool. For instance one can view and compare utilisation rates aggregated by the different types of ownership (e.g. MoH, Private, NGO). In addition, DHIS2 can provide statistics of the distribution of facilities in “Organisation unit distribution report” in “Reporting” module. For instance one can view how many facilities exist under any given organisation unit in the hierarchy for each of the various ownership types. In the GIS module, given that health facility coordinates have been registered in the system, one can view the locations of the different types of health facilities (with different symbols for each type), and also combine this information with another map layer showing indicators e.g. by district.