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The History of HISP

Explore the history and impact of the HISP, which has grown from a local project supporting decentralized health information management to a network of digitalization partners in the Global South, and has driven the development and worldwide adoption of DHIS2

HISP: Supporting digitalization & decentralized data use since 1994

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. 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.

Today, 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 educationhealth 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.

Explore the timeline above — or view a downloadable version — to learn more about some of the key events and periods in the history of HISP and DHIS2. You can also learn more from some of the key people behind HISP in the videos below, as they speak about the history of the project in their own words.

HISP & DHIS2: Past, Present & Future

In this presentation, professors Jørn and Kristin Braa of the HISP Centre reflect on the past and future of HISP and the DHIS2 software.

Looking Back: The Beginnings of HISP & DHIS2

As part of a celebratory event, four of the original members of the HISP action research team look back at the beginnings of the project.

In Plenary: 30 Years of HISP

The 2024 DHIS2 Annual Conference closed with a group presentation celebrating and reflecting on the 30th anniversary of HISP.