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Celebrating 30 Years of HISP

From it’s beginnings in 1994 as an action research project in post-apartheid South Africa, HISP has grown to a worldwide network supporting information system development, implementation, and innovation with DHIS2. Throughout 2024, we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of HISP!

In 2024, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the start of HISP. HISP began in 1994 as the Health Information Systems Programme, a collaborative action research project between the University of Oslo (UiO) and the University of the Western Cape to support digitalization of decentralized health system management in post-Apartheid South Africa, supported by funding from Norad. That project ultimately resulted in the first version of the District Health Information Software (DHIS), which later evolved into DHIS2, and expanded into a global HISP network coordinated by the HISP Centre at UiO.

Now, 30 years later, HISP groups based in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas work collaboratively with Ministries of Health in more than 80 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to support strong, sustainable, innovative, and locally-owned health information systems, helping national health authorities to manage routine health programs and to respond to public health challenges and crises like COVID-19 and climate change. Inspired by their success with DHIS2 in health, many LMICs have also begun using DHIS2 in other sectors, such as education, health logistics, agriculture, and more. Meanwhile, the DHIS2 team at UiO has grown into a professional organization, with more than 150 team members in 40+ countries, and DHIS2 is internationally recognized as a Digital Public Good.

The key to the success of HISP and DHIS2 is people: not only the members of the HISP network and DHIS2 team and the organizations that support us, but also the local stakeholders who manage and work with DHIS2 systems and the members of the global DHIS2 community who share innovations, best practices and support each other across borders, from countries around the world.

Throughout 2024, we will mark the 30th anniversary of HISP by sharing stories from some of the people and groups who have made these achievements possible. We hope you enjoy learning about the history and impact of HISP and DHIS2 through these stories. We also look forward to celebrating this anniversary in person with the global community at the 2024 DHIS2 Annual Conference!

To start things off, we invite you to watch a video of the four researchers in the original HISP project in South Africa as they look back at the beginnings of HISP and DHIS2: