From the event "Launching a #DigitalDecade to Strengthen Public Institutions," hosted by New America, 18 September 2020
During her opening remarks at an international event on using digital public goods to strengthen public institutions, Erna Solberg, the Prime Minister of Norway, highlighted DHIS2 as an example of how collaborative solutions help countries respond to crisis.
"Digital public goods play a vital role in strengthening public institutions. They make it possible for countries to reuse and adapt open source technologies instead of starting from scratch. These technologies foster collaboration and community building across countries and regions. In times of crisis, like today, new ideas and approaches can and must be shared quickly," said Prime Minister Solberg, presenting DHIS2 as an example of a digital public good during her opening remarks at New America's event Launching a #DigitalDecade to Strengthen Public Institutions.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us just how important digital solutions are," she continued. "These solutions form the basis for the communication, collaboration, and knowledge building needed to deal with a global crisis."
While DHIS2 is developed and maintained by the HISP group at the University of Oslo, Norway, the Prime Minister emphasized that its success is largely due to to the global DHIS2 community, saying that "the rapid roll out of this new tool (DHIS2 for COVID-19) would not have been possible without the existing collaboration between countries already using this platform." and specifically mentioned the significant role played by Sri Lanka in their early customization of DHIS2 for COVID-19 surveillance.
Together with Sierra Leone, Norway is a co-founder of The Digital Public Goods Alliance. Together, they support the UN Secretary General's call for digital cooperation between countries, the private sector and the UN system to deploy digital public goods to support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) has financed the development and implementation of DHIS2 in support of these goals, and the general goal of strengthening health systems in low- and middle-income countries.
Read the press release from New America's even on their website, and watch the recording of the Prime Minister's remarks below: