The primary function of national health information systems (HIS) is to collect and analyze data to help providers and policymakers improve patient care, identify a population’s most important health needs, and decide how to address those needs. Another function of HIS is to make data available for accountability in health initiatives and to provide evidence of a country’s progress toward global Sustainable Development Goals. A dividend of work to improve the reliability of an HIS is that a country and its partners can then also use the data that the HIS generates to monitor and evaluate the performance of health programs. From this analysis, best practices for the conduct of those programs often come to light. The effort required for an HIS to satisfy all these demands is a challenge in countries where human, financial, and technological resources are scarce. From 2014-2020, MEASURE Evaluation Phase IV worked at the intersection of a country’s need for reliable health information and the capacity of the HIS there to generate it. During this Phase, MEASURE Evaluation had a mandate to strengthen HIS and, moreover, to share what we are learning as we go. MEASURE Evaluation's “learning agenda” sought to answer three fundamental questions: What are the factors and conditions of HIS performance progress? What are the stages of progression to a strong HIS and how are they measured? What are the characteristics of a strong HIS? Answers to these questions are described in this collection.

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