Building a national model for knowledge exchange in Malawi: findings from a health information needs assessment

J Health Commun. 2012:17 Suppl 2:64-78. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2012.666623.


Getting the right information into the right hands at the right time is a challenge for many health systems in developing countries. Health workers need access to reliable and up-to-date health information in order to support their clients. This health information needs assessment, conducted in the capital city and 3 districts of Malawi from July 2009 to September 2009, aimed to determine access to, and need for, health information in HIV/AIDS and family planning/reproductive health at all levels of the health system. Using qualitative research methods, the study showed the need to (a) build the capacity of government technical working groups to collect and store information and to promote information exchange at all levels of the health system; (b) improve information synthesis and packaging, particularly for users at peripheral levels; (c) strengthen the district level to serve as an information hub for district- and community-level providers; and (d) explore mobile technologies to increase provider access to knowledge and information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Family Planning Services / organization & administration
  • Focus Groups
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Health Communication* / methods
  • Humans
  • Information Seeking Behavior
  • Knowledge Management*
  • Malawi
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Needs Assessment
  • Qualitative Research
  • Reproductive Health Services / organization & administration
  • Social Networking