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UNICEF supports the development of the Geo-Enabled Microplanning Handbook

UNICEF and WHO, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gavi, The Global Fund and World Bank, recently released the Geo-Enabled Microplanning Handbook, a practical guide for health program implementers to integrate geospatial data and technologies into health service microplanning.

The Handbook is a global effort that draws on lessons learned from previous experiences in polio, routine immunization, outbreak response, malaria programmes and more.

In recent years, and particularly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a growing global demand and interest in geo-enabled microplanning, which has however not been met with adequate practical guidance to countries.

In order to reach target populations in a comprehensive, effective, equitable way, and in the shortest time possible, certain public health interventions require data-informed decision-making at the lowest level of geographical disaggregation - on health facility and community level.​​​​​​​

Microplans are created at the level of the health facility and community, focusing on identifying and reaching a target population, managing resources, and monitoring outcomes through a detailed delivery-level operational plan.

A geo-enabled microplan is developed with the combination of a variety of sources of geospatial data, geospatial tools and methods, and allows for more precise population distribution estimates, measurements of physical accessibility to health services such as distance and travel time, and identification of optimal supply chain routes.

While microplanning is mostly associated with vaccination campaigns, a multitude of interventions can benefit from microplanning, such as disease prevention, mass drug administration, nutrition supplementation campaigns, emergency preparedness and others.

Despite its benefits, geo-enabled microplanning is not easily implemented in all contexts, depending on data availability, digital environments, capacity and financial resources. The handbook aims to enable countries’ capacities by providing a step-by-step process for country implementers to plan, cost, implement, and sustain geo-enabled microplans.

We had 124 expert authors, as well as the joint work of the working group core partners since August 2021 to develop this material. It’s great to see all this knowledge and experiences coming together to create this guide”, Rocco Panciera, Geospatial Health Specialist at UNICEF noted, who co-led the development of the handbook in collaboration with WHO.

For further information, please watch the Launch Webinar recording


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