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ASIA-PACIFIC POPIN BULLETIN. 1995 Mar; 7(1):6-8.At the meeting of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development during February 21 to March 2, 1995, population information received much attention. Particular emphasis was given to the recent rapid expansion of the Population Information Network (POPIN) which coordinates regional and national population activities. POPIN had been established in the early 1980s, and with new funding in 1994 it was able to expand. The POPIN Gopher was established on the Internet, the electronic information superhighway. It includes journals, newsletters, bibliographic and demographic data banks, and statistical tables. The POPIN Gopher was heavily used during the International Conference on Population and Development at Cairo in September 1994. POPIN's primary objective was to increase awareness and knowledge of population issues in agreement with the Cairo Action Program. The representative of Pakistan related that an increasing portion of the national budget was devoted population issues with information, education, and communication being a priority. The documents of the Commission meeting were also disseminated through Internet. The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) also carried out collaborative research, provided technical assistance, organized training courses and workshops, and disseminated population information during 1994. A representative of Population Communications International disclosed that an information clearing house had been established in New York City for dissemination of information to governments, nongovernmental organizations, and the UN. The director of UNFPA stated that an interagency task force had been formed to monitor the progress in the implementation of the Program of Action of ICPD in the fields of health, basic education, and women's empowerment. Other tasks of the Commission were also discussed, i.e., advising UN bodies and devising a work program in population for 1996-97.
In: Management information systems and microcomputers in primary health care, edited by Ronald G. Wilson, Barbara E. Echols, John H. Bryant, and Alexandre Abrantes. Geneva, Switzerland, Aga Khan Foundation, 1988. 17-20.A wide array of issues must be addressed if the development and use of management information system (MIS) and microcomputers are to improve management of primary health care (PHC) programs and increase the equity and cost-effectiveness of PHC. These issues include: specification of the purpose and objectives of MIS at community and district levels; distinquishing types of information required; the understanding of organizational issues that must be resolved as a result of introducing MIS; the practical definition of the most useful indicators of program effectiveness and efficiency; the specification and monitoring of data collection, compilation, and analysis requirements and procedures; procedures for generating and using processed MIS data and management information; the PHC program's capacity to absorb technological innovations; and personnel requirements. The need for improved data systems must be recognized. Data quality and systematic flow of information must be ensured from the field level upwards, and minimum information requirements need to be defined. The success of any MIS is heavily dependent on feedback of the data collected. Unless staff at all levels of a PHC program understand the importance of the data they are collecting, the value and use of the information system will be negligible. Examples of the Egyptian government's National Health Information System and the role of the World Bank are used to show how MIS and microcomputer can be introduced and used in PHC.