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Nepal launches Digital Library

August 3, 2011

The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) in Nepal has launched a Digital Library containing a searchable catalogue of over 2983 copies of documents including key policy documents and government health acts. They are available in both Nepali and in English. The digital library compliments the already existing Ministry of Health and Population’s conventional library, adding to it more relevant policy documents, guidelines and other health sector related documents as reference material and putting in place a barcode system to track documents online and send automated messages to users.

Nepal has been working over the past 18 months to create this library after the Memorandum of Understanding that set up the collaboration between the MoHP, HealthNet Nepal and MLI was signed on February 24th 2011 by the then Chief of the Policy, Planning and International Cooperation Division in Nepal’s MoHP, Dr. Padam Bahadur Chand. 

HealthNet Nepal, with support from MLI, designed and hosts the e-library website and adapted an open-source software package to the needs of the Ministry. In addition to the technical support, HealthNet trained members of the MoHP to run and update the site.

Nepal also participated in a peer learning teleconference facilitated by MLI with National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) in Nigeria. The NPHCDA had already completed the preliminary steps of developing a system to meet the information needs of national, state and local health care leaders, was able to offer advice and lessons learned to Nepal during their early stages of setting up a knowledge management system. Representatives from Nepal and the NPHCDA remained in regular email contact with one another to exchange information and ideas as both projects were implemented.

The Ministry’s efforts to create the Digital Library, led by the Chief of the Health Sector Reform Unit, Dr. Baburam Marasini, resulted in this significant collection of historic and current health documents. Sanjaya Singh Thapa has been working at the Ministry to assist with identifying the literature that is most valuable to policy makers and the knowledge management tools used by other organizations that are most locally adaptable. The Digital Library is expected to disseminate new knowledge, promote learning and build national consensus on health sector policy options for scaling up health services.  An essential framework to support this work is an efficient and effective information system that provides easily accessible information to policy makers, donor partners and the general public.  

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