Pan African Medical Journal

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Using information communication technologies to increase the institutional capacity of local health organisations in Africa: a case study of the Kenya Civil Society Portal for Health

C Juma, A Sundsmo, B Maket, R Powell, G Aluoch


Introduction: achieving the healthcare components of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals is significantly premised on effective service delivery by civil society organisations (CSOs).However, many CSOs across Africalack the necessary capacity to perform this role robustly. This paper reports on an evaluation of the use, and perceived impact, of aknowledge management tool upon institutional strengthening among CSOs working in Kenya's health sector.

Methods: three methods were used: analytics data; user satisfaction surveys; and a furtherkey informant survey.

Results: satisfaction with the portal was consistently high, with 99% finding the quality and relevance of the content very good or good for institutional strengthening standards, governance, and planning and resource mobilisation. Critical facilitators to the success of knowledge management for CSO institutional strengthening were identified as people/culture (developed resources and organisational narratives) and technology (easily accessible, enabling information exchange, tools/resources available, access to consultants/partners).Critical barriers were identified as people/culture (database limitations, materials limitations, and lack of active users), and process (limited access, limited interactions, and limited approval process).

Conclusion: this pilot study demonstrated the perceived utility of a web-based knowledge management portal among developing nations' CSOs, with widespread satisfaction across multiple domains, which increased over time. Providing increased opportunities for collective mutual learning, promoting a culture of data use for decision making, and encouraging all health organisations to be learning institutions should be a priority for those interested in promoting sustainable long-term solutions for Africa.
AJOL African Journals Online