Monthly Archives: August 2013

Diversity of Health Information Systems in Developing Countries

The need for harmonization in planning and implementation

31 July 2013

Phnom Penh, Cambodia Following on from the webinar “ICT to support Social Health Protection” organized by GIZ Bangladesh and the Joint Learning Network in October 2012, CIM expert Michael Stahl proposes in this article that harmonizing health information systems should be a priority for technical assistance for social health protection.

Many de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in Asia, such as Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and the Philippines, have already introduced social health insurance schemes to different extents, but are now dealing with highly fragmented IT applications among health care implementers. The same issues are found in several African coun­tries.

Other de­vel­op­ing coun­tries have yet to implement health insurance programmes, or are in the final planning stages, and their governments would like to avoid making the same mistakes as neighboring coun­tries. Cambodia, Bangladesh and Nepal are good examples of countries, which are beginning technical implementation of social health insurance systems.

In addition, planning and experimentation of these systems are happening in isolation within each coun­try, when viable solutions may already have been developed in other coun­tries. Apart from many practical concerns in achieving health care goals in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, one of the main issues is the use of information technology (IT) in health services, and the lack of harmonized approaches in planning, de­vel­op­ing and implementing IT solutions for social health protection implementation.

This paper focuses on the operational side of social health protection implementation in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, explaining how harmonization of social health insurance schemes benefits all stakeholders, and describing how monitoring and evaluation activities can be unsuccessful or lead to wrong results. The relationship between improperly working operational aspects of data management, and the difficulties that arise from this situ­a­tion, are also examined. Lastly, the reasons for high fragmentation rates among social service implementers are discussed.

Please find the GIZ discussion paper here

CPS Partners Launch First Website on Gender-Based Violence under the Khmer Rouge Regime

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26. August 2013

Phnom Penh, Cambodia The mass crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the period of 1975 to 1979 are known to many. Less known is the fact that apart from torture, murder and forced labor, gender-based violence in particular against women was also committed. Even among the Cambodian population the myth of the puritan Khmer Rouge soldier who obeys a code of conduct prohibiting so-called “immoral offenses” against women is prevalent. Such a myth reinforces the taboo on rape and other crimes against women who are thus excluded from the transitional justice process.

In order to thwart this myth and to give victims a voice in the historic record, three GIZ CPS partners in Cambodia have created This website contains a unique collection of documents, publications, articles, background information and video/audio-material on this topic which mainly originates from the work of the CPS Partners: Victims Support Section (VSS) at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Cambodian Defenders Project (CDP) und Transcultural Psyschosocial Organisation (TPO). These three organisations have joined forces to advance the participation of women in the transitional justice process through outreach activities, legal and psychological support and attendance at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Information on violence against women in the Khmer Rouge period is rare and scattered. By setting up this website VSS, CDP and TPO are accomplishing pioneer work in the field of transitional justice in Cambodia in the hope that in future these silenced crimes will be acknowledged and condemned to the same extent as other crimes against humanity.

APSARA Stone Conservation Training Center meets growing demands of conservators in Cambodia

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29 March 2013

Siem Reap, Cambodia On 29 March 2013, APSARA’s Stone Conservation Unit held the official opening ceremony for the new Stone Conservation Training Center. The Center will provide a new space for knowledge exchange in the field of conservation and restoration. With the aim to support the increasing demands of qualified conservators in Cambodia, the space includes a classroom, office, a small laboratory and workshop, as well as a library and meeting room.

H.E. Ros Borath, Deputy Director of APSARA National Authority; German Ambassador, H.E. Dr. Wolfgang Moser; GIZ Deputy Country Director Dr. Petra Schill; Madame Mao Loa, Director of the APSARA department DCMA; GIZ Advisor JosephinRösler  and the Stone Conservation Unit, as well as a number of guests from APSARA and international conservation teams attended the ceremony.Bitte nehmen1

APSARA’s 2-year-stone conservation training was launched in March 2013. Three local stone conservation experts from the Stone Conservation Unit are teaching theory and practice. Other conservation and science professionals with expertise in archaeology, mineralogy, history and microbiology will provide specialized trainings. Until recently, it was not possible to study stone conservation in Cambodia. With this new training programme, APSARA is now able to train new conservators on international standards.

German Development Cooperation in partnership with UNICEF provide vital supplies to improve maternal and newborn health in Cambodia

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14 August 2013

Kampong Thom, Cambodia Mothers and their newborns in three provinces (Kampong Thom, Kampot and Kep) will benefit from equipment and supplies to improve their health, funded by the German Government as a result of a partnership agreement between the German international cooperation agency, GIZ, and the UN children’s agency, UNICEF.

With the German grant, UNICEF procured equipment valued at more than $ 500,000 including ultrasound scanners, foetal heart detectors, sterilizing apparatus, surgical delivery instruments and resuscitators, to enhance the delivery of quality essential and emergency obstetric and newborn care services to some 300,000 women of reproductive age attending government health centres and hospitals in the three provinces. The supplies also include newborn kits with baby care items to be given to mothers attending government health facilities, with a view to encouraging community demand and utilisation of health services.

While Cambodia has made good progress with reducing maternal and child mortality, three out of four newborn deaths occur in their first week of life, especially during the first day, largely due to complications at birth and lack of postpartum care.

At the handover ceremony for the medical equipment and supplies, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Dr. Wolfgang Moser, congratulated the Royal Government of Cambodia for the progress so far achieved: “This success persuades the Federal Government of Germany to continue its support to the Ministry of Health in view of responding to the needs of the Cambodian population.”

In her remarks, UNICEF Representative in Cambodia, Rana Flowers said, “UNICEF is pleased to partner with GIZ, to contribute our experience and expertise in procurement, to provide critical, quality, value-for-money supplies from reliable manufacturers, to support the government to deliver and scale-up essential services for mothers and newborns.”Untitled1 Kopie

Receiving the equipment, the Secretary of State for Health, Ministry of Health, His Excellency Professor Eng Huot, said, “Limited resources – human and financial – continue to be a major constraint to scale-up essential and life-saving health interventions to reduce maternal mortality. We are therefore, most grateful that the German Government and UNICEF have responded together to work with us to address this issue.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic and Development (BMZ) is funding development cooperation programmes in 50 developing countries worldwide. The cooperation with the Royal Government of Cambodia was resumed in 1994 and is mainly implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ, and KfW Entwicklungsbank. Health and Rural Development are the two priority areas of German Development Cooperation in Cambodia, facilitated by a cross-cutting area Good Governance. Technical and financial assistance in the health sector is provided through the “Social Health Protection Programme”, with a focus on health care financing, health service delivery, and health system governance. The Rights-based Family Planning and Maternal Health (Muskoka) project is part of this programme.

Ministry of Planning conducts forum to promote IDPoor Database

6 June 2013

Phnom Penh, Cambodia On June 6, the Cambodia’s Ministry of Planning, with support from GIZ and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), conducted a consultative forum on the use of the different information sources and data products offered by the Identification of Poor Households (IDPoor) Programme. Excellency Tuon Thavrak, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Planning opened the forum, underlining the importance of the IDPoor data, which is used by a growing number of organizations and poverty-reduction programmes as a tool for efficient poverty targeting.

The forum aimed to collect feedback from a group of key stakeholders including Government agencies, bi- and multi-lateral donor organizations, as well as non-governmental organisations, on the usability of different existing formats (website, data DVD, IDPoor Atlas) of IDPoor and how they could be further improved.  Participants also had the chance to provide feedback on potential data products linked to an online database, which GIZ supports the Ministry of Planning develop. Last but not least, participants had the opportunity to inform the Ministry of Planning what additional types of data, reports and formats they would like to have and need for their work. Ideas included services to poor households, and support to plan their programmes, monitor progress or prepare reports.DSC00097

Most participants agreed that the IDPoor data is very useful for their work and appreciates that the Ministry of Planning provides access to this information. However, some organisations – specifically smaller organisations at subnational level – still face difficulties finding the most up-to-date information, as well as extracting and analyzing the data that they need for their work. Therefore, participants welcomed the idea of making more information available online in the future and the Ministry of Planning’s efforts to include new, more user-friendly features.

The feedback and recommendations received during the Consultative Forum complement the feedback received from a larger group of organizations from an online survey designed by GIZ and disseminated by Ministry of Planning in May. The feedback from the Forum and the online survey will be used to make IDPoor information and data formats easier to use and better fitted to the different users’ needs. This will help promote the utilisation of IDPoor data as the primary basis for identifying poor beneficiaries and targeting development programmes to the households and areas that are most in need of support.

The “Support to the Identification of Poor Household’s Programme” implemented by GIZ is funded by German Development Cooperation and Australian Aid.

For further information on the IDPoor Programme please visit:

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All activities are implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).