About the NDOH Data Dictionary

The National Department of Health Data Dictionary provides a reference point for selected health information standards to support health care activities within South Africa. It has been developed to support the District Health Management Information Systems (DHMIS) policy in South Africa, and specifically to facilitate data exchange between electronic systems used to support the DHMIS policy.

The Data Dictionary provides the most up-to-date version of data set specifications (specifically, data elements, indicators, and data validation rules) and the organisational unit hierarchies. In this initial version of the National data Dictionary, the data has been organised by “data file” in use.

The organisational hierarchies may also differ across data files as some data files require inclusion of organisational units that report at the “sub-facility” level (for example DHIS_#ZA_NDOH_WBOT). The Integrated School Health Services data file (DHIS_#ZA_NDOH_ISHP) for example has a different organisational hierarchy than the other data files.

The National Data Dictionary and its Use

A data dictionary, or metadata repository, as defined in the IBM Dictionary of Computing, is a "centralized repository of information about data such as meaning, relationships to other data, origin, usage, and format."[1] The term may have one of several closely related meanings pertaining to databases and database management systems (DBMS):

This data dictionary contains data that is already in the public domain. There is no service delivery data attached to the data dictionary.

The data dictionary provides the reference data for South Africa, for the National Indicator Data Set, and will be maintained through a dynamic exchange of data between district and provincial management teams and the managers of the National Data Dictionary.

DHISv14 data files will link with this site if an online facility is available, and will automatically determine whether there are any discrepancies. As South Africa moves to web-based databases, the links with the National Data Dictionary will be automated and maintained dynamically through a data exchange mechanism between the different systems

Please provide feedback to the development team so that future versions can meet your expectations.