Why is strengthening the Health Data Governance Principles important?


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The 75th World Health Assembly is over, but we still have got some information to share. Such an important healthcare-centered event would not be complete without mentioning the new great initiative that are Health Data Governance Principles.

As a part of this year’s edition of World Health Assembly, Transform Health, FIND, Fondation Botnar, PATH, PMNCH and UNITE have organized a side event that could be accessed online. The event’s main purpose was to discuss the topic of strengthening the governance of health data.

In case you were not able to participate, we have prepared a short summary of discussions that took place during the event.

What are the Health Data Governance Principles?

If you have never heard of it before, do not worry! We’ve got you covered. Health Data Governance Principles is a set of guidelines created with the purpose of helping organizations around the world in making the best out of health data governance and provide even better care to the people who need it.

There are three main Principles:

  1. Protect People
  2. Promote Health Value
  3. Prioritize Equity

You can read more about each one of them in our previous article on Health Data Governance Principles here.

Strengthening the governance of health data

The main purpose of the whole event was to stress the importance of health data governance and show it from various perspectives. Speakers from different countries shared their thoughts and insights on the matter, encouraging the global effort in the name of good change.

In the times of global pandemic of COVID-19 digital data proved to be of great importance for universal safety. Timely and accurate information is necessary to make decisions on both local and global scale. However, if the data is not collected and processed properly, it can cause even more harm to communities around the world, endangering them to more outbursts of virus infections. A globally acknowledged framework built to manage health data would standardize the approach to handling it, and help governments and healthcare institutions collaborate on fighting with COVID-19, as well as other diseases that still keep on troubling the world. 

The mission statement of the meeting was that we should do what is in our power to involve as many institutions and organizations in the movement as possible. One of the great goals is to reach the members of global parliaments and receive their support in popularizing endorsement of the Health Data Principles. 

Another important step is to attract more investors. In developing countries the digital divide is still a big problem, making it difficult to reach local facilities, especially in rural areas, and engage them in the movement of strengthening the governance of health data. Digital skills and digital solutions play a crucial role in the process of securing and promoting health data, and using it to achieve equity.

We should also take care of engaging young people in the discussions and decisions regarding health data governance. They are the present and the future of global health, and it only makes sense to shape the new standards while also listening to their voices and acting in their interest.

Organizations around the world should take responsibility for endorsing and using the Health Data Principles in practice, proving to the people that they can have trust in data governance. Trust gives the power to make a change. And we have to join forces and make the change global, in order for it to reach as many communities and individuals as possible.

Here are Health Data Governance Principles plans for the upcoming years:

Health Data Governance Principles

Only by working together on promoting and embodying the principles can we strengthen the governance of health data and make a true impact on healthcare systems around the world.

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