By Tara Newton, Communications Officer, PATH
Jun 8, 2018
Posted in General
Over 30 experts in immunization gathered last month in Washington D.C. for the Immunization Data: Evidence for Action (IDEA) project. IDEA’s mission is to systematically synthesize, frame, and share evidence-informed learning and data quality and use best practices that improve immunization outcomes. This workshop was critical in discussing and distilling the evidence and other promising practices into practical and usable learnings that will be shared with the larger community.
IDEA stemmed from the desire to more broadly share learnings from PATH’s BID Initiative and PAHO’s Improving Data Quality for Immunization, as well as other related projects. The research team developed and carried out a methodology to guide a landscape analysis of key immunization data strengthening-related activities, and assessed the strength, validity, and relevance of the generated evidence. The two-day workshop included focused discussions on evidence-based practices that have been shown to improve immunization data quality and use, promising practices that have strong theoretical plausibility, and gaps in the knowledge base that need additional inquiry.
Although PATH and PAHO are partnering to drive this project, a steering committee and the workshop attendees are critical to its success. Workshop participants traveled from around the world, representing healthcare workers, government implementers, policymakers, and funders. Bringing together a variety of experiences ensures the learnings we share will be actionable by the larger community and that our collective efforts improve immunization outcomes.
During the workshop, we received valuable feedback on how to prioritize findings, which findings are most important to specific audiences, and where gaps in the evidence base still exist. The workshop concluded with attendees making a commitment to further this work in varying ways including providing direct feedback on the report, sharing learnings with colleagues and working groups, and providing access to additional resources.
The research team is reviewing additional literature to inform their findings and will then finalize their report. With the workshop wrapped up, we are now developing a strategy to synthesize and disseminate the findings from the report. We look forward to sharing this important work with the global community and encourage you to stay tuned for updates.