Think globally; act locally. This is the mentality CARITAS Rwanda embraces to achieve its mission. As one of Rwanda’s largest international NGOs, CARITAS manages nearly 30 percent of healthcare facilities in the country, each treating a range of health issues from HIV to malaria. The organization firmly believes that all interventions should address issues raised by the community, which is why it relies on CARITAS community volunteers and Community Health Workers, a government-funded national health program that places trained health workers in every village, to collect and report paper-based health data. Without their reporting support, CARITAS would not have accurate data at a scale sufficient to understand its target market.
Dr. Prince-Bosco Kanani, Director of Rwanda Catholic Health Services at CARITAS Rwanda, recognized this reliance, along with the increasing need to manage its own digital database to inform decisions. His wish for support in this area was fulfilled soon thereafter when the Global Health Corporate Champions (GHCC) agreed to send a team of pro bono consultants to collaborate to develop a solution. The challenge of accessing reliable and updated health data is not exclusive to CARITAS. Overcoming such an obstacle for NGOs in Rwanda’s health sector has broad implications as it relates to making informed, evidence-based decisions.