Our “From the Field” series offers fresh insights and local perspectives of our QED staff working on development projects in the field. Here we highlight the efforts of Neil Jacobs, the Senior Health Management Information Systems (HMIS) Technical Advisor, Namibia.
Neil Jacobs has been engaged with HMIS for almost three decades now and when the position in Namibia for Senior Health Management Information Systems (HMIS) Technical Advisor came through QED, he welcomed this as an opportunity to make a real difference in Namibian national health information system. Additionally, he expressed his interest for this role in the following quote: “I also wanted to extend my professional boundaries beyond my comfort zone in this relatively small and beautiful country.”
The best part of the job for Neil is to witness a countenance of delight when the results of analyzed data which have been recorded and entered into electronic information systems are “presented in a way that makes sense to them and that can support them in making faster and better programmatic decisions.”
A high point of learning while working on this project is in realizing that, while many program managers considers their individual information needs as unique, Neil infers that “they are basically all the same across the world.” He expresses that this particular learning experience would not have been possible had he not been given this opportunity by QED to discover and experience it on a first-hand basis. Neil is glad for “the opportunity to work and live in Namibia and interacting with its people and experiencing Namibian culture” as it has been truly an enriching experience for him and his family.”