Evaluating Impact of Healthcare Information



Healthcare Information: "The information that people need to protect their own health and the health of others" The primary focus is practical healthcare information: health education, manuals, guidelines, formularies, research outputs... for citizens and frontline health professionals. The group may also look at issues relating to the information needs of researchers and policymakers, and issue relating to availability and use of routine data (eg statistics) .

Evaluating the impact of healthcare information activities (organisations, services, products, publications) is challenging but necessary to:

  1. identify what works and what doesn't in different contexts
  2. enable providers and users of healthcare information to continually improve their effectiveness
  3. persuade funders, governments and others to invest in future healthcare information activities.

Sponsorship opportunity: Please contact us for details.



The HIFA Working Group on Evaluating the Impact of Healthcare Information is an informal voluntary group:

  1. To promote discussion, awareness and understanding on HIFA on evaluating the impact of healthcare information
  2. To identify and integrate relevant HIFA Quotations and HIFA Citations into the HIFA Voices database
  3. To identify key publications that describe the current state of knowledge about evaluation of impact of healthcare information.
  4. To explore/review candidate indicators of impact of HI 
  5. To attract more people with an interest in evaluation of impact to join and participate in the HIFA forums
  6. To undertake other related activities (eg literature review, survey)
  7. To provide practical support to the World Health Organization and other organisations represented on HIFA, as needed.

Current projects (April 2017-) include exploration with the World Health Organization to see how HIFA might assist with monitoring and evaluation of WHO publications (one of the Recommendations of the external report Evaluating the Impact of WHO Publications).


2018 (Apr): Report: Inter Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicators, Vienna (Geoff Royston and Chris Zielinski) 

2017-18: Discussion with WHO on how the group can assist with implementation of recommendations from WHO evaluation

2017 (Oct): Presentation: Evaluation of Impact of WHO Publications (Ian Roberts)

2016-17: Development of HIFA Evaluating the impact of healthcare information - Visual Outcomes Map (DoView)

2016-17: Sharing of Hesperian M&E methodology

2016 (Nov): Publication of Evaluation of the Impact of WHO Publications (TDV Global inc)

2016 (Oct): Knowledge Management for Development Summit, Vienna (Chris Zielinski)

2016 (Sep): Presentation of Poster on assessment of health information mobile 'apps', Appropriate Health Technologies conference, Oxford (Geoff Royston)

2016 (Mar): Directory of Evaluating Impact Institutions

2016 (Feb): Launch of Project - Terms of Reference

2015-16: Liaison with WHO on Evaluating Impact of WHO Publications


Meeting of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicators

HIFA Evaluation working group members Geoff Royston and Chris Zielinski attended the Seventh meeting of the UN Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), held from 9 to 12 April 2018, in Vienna, Austria. 

Evaluating the Impact of WHO Publications

HIFA Evaluating Impact Working Group Teleconference - 03 October 2017


HIFA Impact working group - Terms of Reference 


HIFA Impact working group - Potential collaborating partners


Evaluating the impact of healthcare information - Visual Outcomes Map (DoView)

This visual outcomes map was developed over several meetings, with thanks to Paul Duignan for providing DoView methodology and expert guidance


This paper by HIFA Steering Group member Geoff Royston was presented at the 2017 International Conference on Digital Health

Assessing the impact of digital health projects and applications is a key challenge, especially in low resource settings. Full evaluative field studies are resource-intensive and time-consuming. Less demanding approaches that could provide rapid insights would be helpful. This paper presents some "short-cut" approaches for rapid assessments that can provide useful early indications of strengths and weaknesses and can ensure that evaluative efforts are focused on key uncertainties, are not wasted on unpromising interventions, and make the most of what is already known. Three rapid assessment approaches, all underpinned with logic modelling, are presented:
- Identification of "upstream" obstacles
- Utilisation of knowledge about "downstream" effects
- Fermi estimation
Their application is illustrated by examples, mainly considering assessment of mobile phone healthcare information applications for citizens and healthcare workers in medium and low-resource settings.

Name Country
Chris Zielinski United Kingdom
Geoff Royston United Kingdom
Ian Roberts Switzerland
Isabelle Wachsmuth-Huguet Switzerland
Joseph Ana Nigeria
Kokaale Amissah-Aidoo United States
Lily Walkover United States
Martin Carroll United Kingdom
Najeeb Al-Shorbaji Jordan
Neil Pakenham-Walsh United Kingdom
Nicole Naylor United Kingdom
Paul Duignan New Zealand
Sarah Shannon United States