District Health Performance Improvement

Project Overview

The District Health Performance Improvement (DHPI) project focuses on equitable programming and real-time monitoring, strengthening the district health system by building on what exists. DHPI helps districts plan more effectively and efficiently, prioritize, and focus resources where they are needed most.

DHPI is Malawi's adaptation of UNICEF's systematic and outcome-based DIVA (Diagnose, Intervene, Verify, Adjust) approach. MSH has contributed to the development of this approach as well as resource materials.

Funded by UNICEF, the partnership with MSH and Malawi's Ministry of Health provides technical and programmatic support to districts currently applying DHPI and introduces additional districts to the process. Assistance is focused on improving reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health in 12 priority districts: Lilongwe, Mzimba, Kasungu, Dedza, Ntcheu, Dowa, Mangochi, Blantyre, Zomba, Mulanje, Thyolo, and Mchinji.

The project aims to increase the proportion of districts that fully implement DHPI, informing strategic use of limited resources. DHPI will achieve this by:

  • Increasing accountability for and transparency of district planning
  • Increasing capacity for applying DHPI and monitoring for results
  • Sharing best practices and lessons learned more widely to maximize DHPI application

Sixty indicators for ten key interventions have been identified and refined and new tools have been developed to support data collection. A cadre of ministry of health staff, called DHPI champions, have assisted in implementing DHPI, identifying solutions to challenges and further adapting the approach to suit the Malawian context.

Since 2012, the country's ministry of health has supported DHPI in 14 districts with UNICEF support. District plans align with national priorities with the goal of increasing coverage of critical interventions. Preliminary results indicate that strengthened planning resolves bottlenecks and improves coverage of services, leading to greater health outcomes and impact.


Project Team