I give my warmest thanks to my family for their love and support. I thank my brother Ole Andreas Gjerull for encouragements, and for all the cups of coffee we have shared. I thank my parents Petter and Berit Gjerull for having faith in me and for economical support.

I thank Bjarne Holen and Henrik Aarseth, the two guys I share an apartment with. Thanks for all our conversations, and for frequently being the only social contact I had, after a long day of writing on my thesis. Thanks for all the hours we have shared in front of the television.

I thank Mina Lam and Thanh Phan for sharing dinners with me in the University canteen. Thanks for a lot of fun and interesting conversations, you have given light to my days. My master studies would not be the same without you.

I thank my research counselor Jørn Braa for constructive feedback and guidance. May HISP be successful in promoting the effective use of information in developing countries.

Warm thanks goes to all my colleagues in the Ethiopian HISP team. You have given a warm face to Ethiopia. I give special thanks to the other members of the Tigray team; Solomon Birhanu, Hirut Gebrekidan Damitew, Netsanet Haile Gebreyesus and Kalkidan Gezahegn. I thank all at the Tigray health bureau for making the Tigray project possible. I thank professor Sundeep Sahay for his assistance to us in Tigray.

I thank Knut Staring, Ola Hodne Titlestad and all the DHIS 2 developers for all their excellent effort in creating the next major version of DHIS. May simplicity and flexibility be your guides.