Skip to main content

How to run an efficient and effective data use meeting for family planning programs and beyond

In this practical, hands-on simulated data use session in the Making Self-Injection Count workshop, participants first learned about experiences running data review meetings in Kenya and Tanzania, highlighting lessons learned and best practices. Then they practiced skills using a mock decision-support tool to solve a common self-injection data challenge.


By the end of the session, participants were able to:

  • Describe key components of successful data use meetings and how data use meetings can be used to strengthen service delivery for family planning and self-care.
  • Identify the skills, knowledge, and competencies (i.e., role profiles) needed for an effective data use team.
  • Apply practical, hands-on strategies to run a data use meeting (including virtual meeting).

Key takeaways

  • Data availability in HMIS/LMISes is necessary but not sufficient for efficient data use, strong service delivery, and commodity availability.
  • Data-use teams comprise people from various levels of the health system with a common goal, a structured approach, and tools for reviewing data and taking action. Teams are trained to use data to clearly define and prioritize problems, conduct a root-cause analysis, and recognize small wins and good performance.
  • There are seven key roles of an effective data-use team. Team members may assume different roles depending on the context and the problem being addressed.
    • Organizer (logistics, agenda, notes).
    • Problem solver (questions why, addresses challenges, steering to root cause of problems).
    • Data wizard (indicators and interpretation, analysis of raw data, graph trends, visualize data).
    • Supply chain (deep understanding of technical areas, supply chain processes, critical analysis of systems).
    • Influencer (access to decision-makers, suggestions are taken seriously, advocacy).
    • Resource (handles/advocates for funding).
    • Leader (needs to endorse or support decisions, big picture/vision of the team).
  • Critical components for effective data use:
    • Deliberate design: multidisciplinary team with a common performance goal.
    • Decision-support tool: user-friendly visualized data.
    • Follow a structured process.
    • Consistency: regular data review meetings with consistent attendance because data change with time.
    • Champions and leaders who guide implementation and work to sustain the gains achieved.
    • Institutionalization of and resources for the data-use approach into existing structures.


  • Johnson Anyona, Analyst, InSupply Health
  • Judy Anyona, Senior Advisor, InSupply Health
  • Janet Makena, Analyst, InSupply Health
  • Nomena Raberaoka, AC MLE and HCD Consultant, Madagascar
  • Avotiana Rakotomanga, Madagascar Country Coordinator, JSI