One Data: COVID-19, health data connectivity and integration in Indonesia

Response to a global health crisis requires up-to-date and reliable data. In a virus crisis, healthcare workers and policymakers need access to integrated data to manage community health and wellbeing.


In a population as large as Indonesia – nearly 270 million spread across 34 provinces and 541 districts – integrating health-related data and information systems is a significant challenge.  The challenge multiplies when data integration needs to connect to multiple stakeholders and at various levels – from government at national, provincial and districts and across sectors: health, non-health, public, private and others.

To tackle this challenge, a COVID-19 National Task Force has developed an Application Programming Interface (API). The API will integrate various systems to support the pandemic response, but API has raised issues. For one thing, it has shown the existing digital maturity gaps between various players – some technology practices are more advanced than others. This creates barriers to systems use and data integrity across systems. Other problems include data duplication, data inconsistency and data gaps. All these reduce health decision makers ability to make informed decisions needed to control and manage the spread of COVID-19 cases.

To better understand the extent of Indonesia’s COVID-19 data issues, the Australia-Indonesia Centre (AIC) is launching a Rapid Research project. The project will explore the type of data connectivity challenges faced by stakeholders. It will also propose solutions to help improve information system integration.

The research will focus on the special region of Yogyakarta. The province consists of four districts and municipalities with several stakeholders involved in creating and using COVID-19 data. An AIC team of technology, health informatics and behavioural information researchers will use an Enterprise Architecture (EA) approach to address the challenge.

“EA has been used in the last few decades in both the public and private sectors to guide the management and evolution of information systems, process and infrastructure,” said AIC project co-lead Dr Sherah Kurnia.

“It’s a useful approach to enhance health data and systems integration in Indonesia. Having a single source of truth for all health data will enable effective and efficient interrogation of the data to better inform decision-makers.”

“The team will engage stakeholders at district, provincial and national levels, said co-lead Dr Safirotu Khoir. “We will analyse, for instance, the bottom up data-flow from health facilities to higher authorities. An assessment of existing data-flow and state of effectiveness will highlight areas for improvements.”

“Currently, health institutions, start-ups, and non-government institutions have established their own information systems to obtain and share COVID-19 data with policy makers. We will examine the challenges experienced due to limited integration and contribute ideas that can support the future state of Indonesia’s National Health Enterprise Architecture.

The recommendations to improve health information system information in Indonesia will be shared with relevant policy-makers and authorities, including central, provincial and district governments.


The research team

Co-leads: Dr Sherah Kurnia (UniMelb), Dr Safirotu Khoir (UGM)

Participants: Anis Fuad (UGM), Guardian Y. Sanjaya (UGM), Dr Rod Dilnutt (UniMelb)


Australian Media enquiries

Marlene Millott
PAIR Program Officer
+61 427 516 851

Indonesian Media enquiries

Fadhilah Trya Wulandari
PAIR Program Officer
+62 8124 3637 755


About the Australia-Indonesia Centre

The AIC was established by the Australian and Indonesian Governments in 2013. It brings together 11 universities – seven Indonesian and four Australian – to advance people-to-people links in science, technology, education, innovation and culture. The AIC designs and facilitates bilateral research programs, taking research outcomes to policy and practice. It forms interdisciplinary teams that work collaboratively with stakeholders – policy, business and community – to find solutions to regional, national and global challenges.

Beyond research, the AIC’s outreach activities contribute to broader people-to-people links. It runs digital dialogues that seek to shed new insights. It supports the deepening of cultural exchange through a binational short film festival, explores respective national attitudes and perceptions towards each other, and brings together future leaders of both nations workshops, dialogues and other programs.

The Rapid Research program is part of the AIC’s Partnership for Australia-Indonesia Research, funded by the Australian Government.  It is AIC’s front-foot response to a better understanding of COVID-19’s impact on Indonesia’s economy and society.  It brings together Sixty Australian and Indonesian researchers from the AIC’s consortium of 11 universities to explore three areas: COVID-19 People and Health; COVID-19, People and Connectivity, and COVID-19, People and Economic Recovery.


Photo by/Foto oleh National Cancer Institute on Unsplash