Empowering Government Officials to Make Data-Informed Decisions


  • We’re supporting Jacaranda Health in developing an improved data dashboard and other tools to give governments visibility into health facilities’ performance.
  • The new data dashboard supports county and sub-county health officials in Kenya to utilize the data they need to strengthen quality of care in public health facilities and improve maternal and newborn health outcomes.


The Challenge

County and sub-county officials in Kenya have a strong intention to use data to improve public health facilities’ performance but face several obstacles when considering what data to use and how. While data dashboards can make real-time data available, they will only support officials to make better decisions—for example, how to best reallocate resources or conduct additional community outreach— if they’re consistently used and if officials are able to translate the data effectively.


Our Approach

Working with Jacaranda Health—a Kenya-based nonprofit that focuses on developing solutions to improve quality of care and maternal and newborn health outcomes—we’re supporting the development of a data dashboard. Our work focused on understanding the behavioral dimensions of those decisions—how government officials use data and make decisions—and translating those insights into a dashboard design that better meets their needs.

Between October and December 2023, we spoke with 42 county and sub-county health officials to explore the behavioral dimensions of how officials interact with data and how they perceive its value. Emerging insights from those conversations informed improvements to the dashboards. We then presented officials with draft refinements to the improved dashboards and again gathered their input and feedback.



We learned that officials often tunnel on a narrow set of indicators aligned with county and national priority outcomes, such as maternal and neonatal mortality, while data that might help them understand how to improve those outcomes get less attention. 

The plethora of available data and complexity of interpreting it makes it difficult for an official to see how it relates to their needs and priorities and what to do with it. At the same time, data rarely tells the whole story, and officials feel constrained by the costs and hassles of following up in person to identify what an underperforming facility needs.

These insights formed the basis for an updated data dashboard design that offers tailored, easy-to-interpret take-aways from a complex body of data that equip government officials with better insight into how health facilities are performing and how they can improve quality of care.



Interested in learning more about this work applying behavioral science to a crucial social problem? Email gh@ideas42.org or reach out to us on X at @ideas42 to join the conversation.