Background: Health survey is one of the important and valuable methods in producing health indicators and has become a part of health information system. Health surveys planned and performed properly can be used in assessing population health, policy-making, planning, health monitoring, evaluating, and observatories.
Objectives: The present paper is the product of a project to establish a calendar for health observatory studies, which has to compatible with Iran’s Sustainable Development Plans.
Methods: The main question of this qualitative study was: “what are the reasons and solutions for having up-to-date, sufficient, quality information, and how could we ensure they are being carried out?” Data collection methods included interviews, reviewing documents and records, and interviewing focus groups of Iranian experts and health policy-makers.
Results: Thirty-one health observatory studies, concurrent with Iran’s five-year Socioeconomic Development Plans, passed the consensus of stakeholders. The span of time to conduct each study was determined based on five-year Development Plans and national and international organizations’ requests for certain information.
Conclusions: If the policy-makers are constantly pleased with up-to-date, sufficient, and quality information, sustainability of sticking to this calendar can be secured. The effective factors in successful implementation of this calendar is timely financing, defining health observatory survey and study protocols, apportioning duties among valid research centers, training interviewers not affiliated with health system, maintaining of experienced Iranian and international legal observers, assessing performance method of each survey, and implementing the results and findings in the future.
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