Documents 2017/04

Understanding the basics of improving data quality

Manual for the DHIS2 quality tool

A Health Management Information System (HMIS) is important for a country’s capacity to monitor health, and for evaluating and improving the delivery of health-care services and programs.

Many developing countries struggle with data quality problems in their HMIS systems resulting in incomplete, inaccurate and untimely information. As a result, the systems do not provide a good basis for knowledge-based decision-making on health.

The newly developed DHIS2 quality tool is a contribution to a practical approach for improvement of HMIS data quality. By using the quality tool, potential errors in the data are identified. This knowledge can be used to take appropriate action for improving data quality. In many cases, this will be to either edit the data or to improve the data collection system. Implementing modern statistical methods and technology, like the DHIS2 quality tool, are important factors in achieving good quality in data/statistics.

This is a manual for basic use of the DHIS2 quality tool. The manual is aimed at explaining the possibilities of the quality tool, but also to be an input to capacity building and workshops. The data quality tool does not only display potential data errors, but also contributes to improved understanding of the data quality.

The manual is a meant as a practical guide to use the DHIS2 quality tool. Actual screenshots from DHIS2 and a realistic test data set are used to explain and visualize (which is available on the DHIS2 training server). The DHIS2 Data Quality Tool requires an initial configuration for much of the functionality, and this initial setup is the best way to get started.

About the publication


Manual for the DHIS2 quality tool. Understanding the basics of improving data quality


John Åge Haugen, Geir Hjemås and Olav Poppe (WHO)

Series and number

Documents 2017/04


Statistisk sentralbyrå

Commissioning party

Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD)


Methods and documentation

ISBN (online)


Number of pages


About Documents

Documentation, descriptions of methods, models and standards are published in the series Documents.