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Francis Smart, MD, MPH Director: Policy, Planning and Information

Dr Francis Smart is a public health specialist with a strong background in reproductive health. He once managed the Reproductive Health and Family Planning Programme of the MoHS. Prior to that, he had worked with a couple of international organisations including the World Health Organisation and UNFPA as the Reproductive Health focal point.

Francis has extensive experience working in the districts where he served as District Medical Officer for both Kailahun and Bonthe District Health Management Teams.

Francis also has admirable experience in health systems strengthening. He was Manager of the Health Systems Strengthening Hub of the MoHS where he collaborated with partners to improve health systems.

He has a knack for details and hence the reason for improvements in the Policy, Planning and Information Directorate in recent times. He believes in systems thinking and approaches to addressing health problems. He has led the development of the first ever Universal Health Coverage Roadmap for Sierra Leone. He led the successful implementation of the 2019 DHS and now leading digitalisation of health management information systems in the MoHS. He is currently coordinating the development and/or review of a number of policy documents including the National Health Policy.

The Policy, Planning and Information Directorate coordinates and ensures the development of comprehensive and strategic health legislations and policies, strategic plans, health information systems, programmes and budgets and to monitor and evaluate its implementation in collaboration with other directorates, programmes, other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s), partners and donors. It leads Information, Communication and Technology.

Directorate of Policy, Planning and Information


  • Policy
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Health Management and Information Systems
  • Information and Communication and Technology
  • Publications
  • Planning
  • Coordination
  • Health Financing

Policy Unit is the policy research and analysis arm of the Directorate. Its mandate is to strengthen the policy and regulatory frameworks that support the achievement of the Ministry’s goals and objectives, by supporting objective and high-quality policy research, analytical capacity and policy support capability.

Monitoring and Evaluation sets up systems for providing high quality information for evidence-based decision making, planning, monitoring and evaluating the progress made towards the achievement of the Sector goals and objectives as stated in its Strategic Plan and the Medium-Term National Development Plan.

Health Management and Information Systems is responsible for setting up appropriate systems to collect and store and analyse routine health information at all levels of health service delivery. This unit manages the District Health Information Systems 2 (DHIS2) platform, a central repository for routine health data.

Information and Communication and Technology supervises all ICT implementation and maintenance of the Ministry’s computing needs. Routinely support and manages all the Health Management Information Systems (HMIS) and gives technical advice on proposed systems that may be adopted by the Ministry, through the eHealth Coordination Hub.

Publications provides leadership, guidance and overall direction on the content of the MoHS website and document web portal; approves outlay and develops/reviews content for the MoHS website and web portal; and jointly coordinates and regulates digital health implementation in the Ministry. Supports operational research and evaluation

Planning is responsible to lead Ministry of Health and Sanitation’s planning activities at both national and district level including the development and/or review of the National Health Sector Strategic Plan and the annual MOHS work plan.

Coordination provides coordination to MoHS units and directorates as well as its partners in planning and implementing programmes. This unit houses the UHC Secretariat, which is also a coordination secretariat that monitors implementation and progress of UHC activities.

Health Financing is mandated to analyse finances available for health, ways to mobilise more funds, advocates for mechanisms to efficiently and equitably allocate, purchase and spend finance to improve access to health services and reduce out of pocket expenditures that lead to catastrophe and impoverishment. It provides technical advice on health financing and supports development of the national health planning and budgeting. It conducts studies such as the National Health Accounts (NHA), Public Expenditure Review (PER) and Resource Mapping and Expenditure Tracking (RMET).