Directorate of Information Technologies and Communication

Structure and main functions

The Directorate of Information Technology and Communication (DITC) was established in October 2002 following the re-structuring of the NIMR organogram. On its inception, the DITC composed of two departments; namely, Library and Publications and Health Statistics and Information Technology. The Directorate has now expanded into 5 departments to reflect its current and future functions. The departments under DITC are (i) Library, Medical Museum and Publications; (ii) Health Statistics; (iii) Health Informatics and Communication Technologies; (iv) Disease Surveillance and Geographical Information Systems;  and (v) Policy Analysis and Advocacy.

The Directorate is generally charged with one the NIMR Mandates of establishing a system for the registration of, and to register, the findings of medical research carried out within Tanzania, and promote the practical application of those findings for the purposes of improving or advancing the health and general welfare of the people of Tanzania. The directorate maintains computerized database of registered researchers and health research information. It collects information for maintaining national health research database of planned, on-going and completed research; promote and advance information technology within NIMR; Maintains computers and networking with stakeholders; maintains and updates the NIMR website.

Since 2006, The Directorate established a local area network (LAN) to NIMR and its Centres. It also provides Internet Bandwidth Services and maintenance support to all of these sites.  The Directorate publishes Tanzania Journal of Health Research and a quarterly newsletter called NIMR Highlights. Over the years, the DITC implemented it functions in collaboration with all other directorates and Research Centres.

Department of Library, Medical Museum and Publications

The roles and responsibilities of the Department are to:

  • Coordinate and supervise Institutional library activities
  • Compile DITC Quarterly Reports
  • Compile and publish Institutional Annual Report
  • Develop and maintain a Medical Research Museum
  • Collect and establish an effective management, preservation and accessioning of records of health research in Tanzania
  • Publish and distribute to targeted users Tanzania Journal of  Health Research
  • Publish and distribute NIMR Newsletter
  • Design and produce Calendar, Seasonal Greeting cards
  • Review of manuscripts seeking permission to publish

Department of Health Statistics

The roles and responsibilities of the Department are to:

  • Design and develop research data collection tools
  • Creation, updating, maintenance and validation of research databases and provision of computerized reports of these data.
  • Coordinate and support research and administrative programmes on data management
  • Coordinate and support data mining in various research programmes
  • Strengthen capacity of researchers on data management
  • Carry out Statistics Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Develop, establish and maintain national health research data repository
  • Establish and up-date Institutional Data Management Costs

Department of Health Informatics and Communication Technologies

The roles and responsibilities of the Department are to:

  • Promote and advance Information and Communication Technology in health research and care
  • Establish and maintain computer networks
  • Coordinate and conduct health informatics research
  • Design and implement of Health Information Systems
  • Strengthen capacity of NIMR Staff on computer trainings and information management
  • Maintenance of NIMR website
  • Develop databases and software tools for health research
  • Effective provisioning, installation/configuration, operation, and maintenance of systems hardware and software and related infrastructure.
  • Ensures that system hardware, operating systems, software systems, and related procedures adhere to Institutional values

Disease Surveillance and Geographical Information Systems

The roles and responsibilities of the Department are to:

  • Development of early warning systems for disease epidemics and monitoring of emerging and re-emerging diseases
  • Liaise with National, Regional and Global Infectious Disease Surveillance Networks
  • Coordinate and carry out research on disease surveillance and early warning systems
  • Development of Web GIS technology for health data for different health problems
  • Establishment and maintenance of a geo-database of national health facilities
  • Development and maintenance of Geo-database of priority diseases
  • Conducting training on GIS, Remote sensing and GIS database
  • Processing, analysing, and sharing of spatial and temporal health data from different programs/projects.
  • Hosting central GIS Web portals for information discovery and use.

Department of Policy Analysis and Advocacy

The roles and responsibilities of the Department are to:

  • Strengthen capacities of researchers in research and policy analysis
  • Facilitate dialogues between researchers, decision and policy makers
  • Promote NIMR image both nationally and internationally
  • Coordinate the organisation of NIMR Annual Joint Scientific Conference and other national and international scientific conferences and exhibitions
  • Liaise with national, regional and global initiatives in  Science to Policy networks
  • Coordinate and carry out policy research and analysis
  • Develop facts sheets on research findings for decision makers and public consumption