Many countries have identified primary health care as an urgent priority, but lack comprehensive data to pinpoint specific weaknesses, understand their causes, and strategically direct resources to address them.

PHCPI is championing new ways of measuring primary health care.

PHCPI believes that better data on primary health care can help to:

  • Drive improvements. Policymakers and health system managers need quality data to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of their countries’ primary health care systems, learn from the experiences of other countries, and ultimately drive the reforms needed for their particular contexts. 
  • Make the case for greater investment. Better data on primary health care gives policymakers and donors the information they need to track the impact of their investments over time, helping to make the case for increased investment.
  • Support civil society and citizens to hold leaders accountable. Advocates and citizens can use data on primary health care to draw attention to problems, hold leaders accountable to their commitments, and call for the specific policy and financing reforms needed to achieve health for all.

Recognizing the many benefits of quality data, PHCPI seeks to catalyze a global shift in primary health care measurement and improvement by:

  • Measuring what matters. Historically, most data on primary health care has focused on tracking inputs into the system – details like the total number of health workers, medicines and supplies available. While this information is important, it isn’t enough for decision makers to evaluate how well the primary health care system works in practice.  That’s why a major focus of PHCPI’s work is supporting countries to collect more and better data on service delivery – the interactions between a patient and their provider that influence whether a person gets the quality care they need, when they need it.
  • Making data accessible. National data systems and donor reporting requirements generate an avalanche of health information in many countries around the world, yet these rarely give countries a complete picture of what is – and isn’t – working in primary health care. Lack of coordination between different data sources and tools is also a major challenge. To make data more accessible, PHCPI works to create tools that compile and present information in a way that is easy for policymakers, donors and advocates to understand. Where possible, we also provide data that is globally or regionally comparable – making it easier for decision makers to learn from the experiences of other countries and apply relevant insights.
  • Ensuring that better measurement translates into improvement. To ensure that better data translates into stronger primary health care systems, PHCPI brings together countries and practitioners to share learning experiences and develops case studies and strategies that countries can use to address critical gaps in primary health care systems.

    Measurement to Improvement Pathway

    Measurement to Improvement Pathway

Additional measurement resources

VSP Process Guide Guidance

Step-by-step guidance for countries to produce a Vital Signs Profile.

How to Read and Use the VSP Guidance

Guidance for how to read the Vital Signs Profile.

Core Indicator Compare Tool Tool

Examine different countries’ primary health care systems side by side.

Indicator Library Tool

Detailed descriptions of each PHC Core Indicator, including indicator definitions, the rationale for their use, sources of data, and limitations.

Measuring What Matters Report

Case studies on data innovations for strengthening primary health care.

Taking Stock of the Global PHC Measurement Landscape Report

Identifies conceptual and practical areas where PHC measurement is aligned and where there are gaps.

How VSP Profiles are Constructed Methodology Note

Explains how the Vital Signs Profile scores are constructed.

PHCPI Methodology Note Methodology Note

Details the development of the PHCPI Conceptual Framework and indicator selection.