The Integrated Supportive Supervision (ISS) is a mobile application that focuses on district-based service provision and systems strengthening. It forms part of a key deliverable of the ONSE Health, a USAID-funded project that works through four objectives:
- Improve access to healthcare services,
- improve the quality of healthcare services,
- Strengthen health systems, and
- Increase demand for services.
The ISS application has nationwide coverage and cuts across a series of priority health areas, including maternal, newborn, and child health; family planning and reproductive health; malaria; nutrition; and water and sanitation. Additionally, The ISS application integrates with a real-time dashboard that visualizes the information. The ISS is a digital checklist to support the management of facilities in Malawi. It reviews key indicators for twelve service areas that are necessary to improve quality and effective health care services and creates action items for follow-up by Central, Zonal, District, and or Facility level decision-makers.
The initiative was a project that started in 2017 and ended in March 2022, and one of the challenges was how to fund the logistical and financial support to conduct supervision beyond the project life. This led to a situation where there is an insufficient supply of essentials when supervision is due. Consequently, this brings in a challenge of inadequate supportive supervision. Other challenges that were evident were poor planning and coordination; poor adherence to guidelines; inadequate workflow management; and inadequate access to transportation.
Improving coordination and accountability between the levels of the health sector and capacitating district teams to be conducting supervisions.
- With joint supervision, it is easier and possible to solve problems that due to one programme area affects another programme area at once; consequently, it also saves some costs.