IBM, Amref & GlaxoSmithkline Partner to strengthen African health systems



A team of 16 IBM’s business and technology experts from seven countries have been working with NGOs and government agencies in Kenya on frameworks to improve health services, enhance vocational training for youth, improve inter-ministerial performance and drive opportunities for international trade.

The team used automation of data, online portals for donor tracking, social media strategies and latest best practices in marketing and project management as means to achieve this goals.

With GlaxoSmithkilne PULSE, the team worked to provide Amref Health Africa to improve capacity of health systems to deliver quality health services through strengthening facility-based services, especially in remote and underserved areas of Africa. The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce (KNCCI), Information Communication Technology Authority (ICTA), and SOS Technical Training Institute (SOSTTI) were also some of the beneficiaries.

“We had IBM experts work with our team to improve our data capture, analysis and department processes. The team was able to propose solutions within one month with support from a GlaxoSmithKline volunteer who was already on the ground,” said Dr. Jane Carter, the Director for Clinical and Diagnostics Programme, Amref Health Africa. “We are now reviewing how we can best take the ideas forward although it is already clear that the work on Key Performance Indicators will bring a good focus for the team.”

The pro-bono consulting work is part of IBM’s Corporate Service Corps (CSC) programme – a global pro-bono initiative through which IBM deploys teams of its most talented people on projects aimed at driving social and economic development. Africa has become a strong focus for IBM’s CSC programme as it expands its operations across the continent.

IBM presented its recommendations and findings to four clients that include:

–        Amref Health Africa: In partnership with GlaxoSmithkline PULSE, the IBM team proposed a sustainable, automated data-warehousing model to replace the existing manual processes for data reporting for the outreach programme. The goal is to increase efficiency for outreach doctors, improve data quality and enhance treatment outcomes for patients.

–        Information Communication Technology Authority: In support of the ICTA’s mandate to support the Government of Kenya digitization initiative an IBM team built a standardized ICT model known as the Government Enterprise Architecture (GEA) and a road map for implementing it across all levels of government including Ministries and the newly formed county governments. This will formally align Kenya’s current ICT environment with the goals outlined in the Vision 2030.

–        Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNNCI): IBM developed an enhanced communication strategy to better connect members with partners utilizing social media to open up traditional and newer markets. The system will leverage smart cloud to set up a virtual information center and business analytics to generate on demand intelligence to market and member needs.

–        SOS Technical Training Institute (SOSTTI): The IBM team recommended an eLearning platform to be made available to students for free in addition to an enhanced and marketplace relevant curriculum to an ICT and entrepreneurship focus

“This is the ninth time in six years that we’ve deployed a Corporate Service Corps team to Kenya because we feel so strongly about the country’s potential,” said IBM’s General Manager for East Africa Nicholas Nesbitt. “If you look at the range and scope of the projects the team worked on over the past month, it’s clear that the country’s leadership cares deeply about the civic, social and economic well being of its citizens.”

By the end of 2014, IBM Corporate Service Corps will have dispatched approximately 2,600 IBM employees originating from 56 countries on engagements to 37 countries — making this pro-bono problem solving program one of the world’s largest. Africa, a growing market for IBM, is one of the focal points of the program. By the end of 2014, the CSC will have deployed 800 IBM employees for projects in South Africa, Ethiopia, Angola, Senegal, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, and Egypt.