New efforts to improve immunization data quality and use
By Hallie Goertz, Packaging and Training Lead, BID Initiative
Jan 4, 2018
As the BID Initiative initial grant comes to a close, we have been exploring ways to leverage our current learnings and further explore knowledge gaps around data use. PATH was recently awarded a grant in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to do just this.
The new initiative entitled, Immunization Data: Evidence for Action (IDEA) , grew out of the increasing number of focused efforts to address the challenges countries face collecting and using data to improve health service delivery – including the BID Initiative, PAHO’s Improving Data Quality for Immunization efforts, and the World Health Organization’s Global Vaccine Action Plan.
We will be working with several global partners, including representatives from the Government of Tanzania and Zambia, CDC, WHO, AFRO, UNICEF, Gavi, and others, to collect, synthesize, frame, and share evidence-informed learnings and best practices to improve immunization outcomes through improved data quality and use.
Our goal is to frame the findings in ways that will allow for easy adoption, application, and use by country ministries, implementers, funders, and policymakers – ensuring that we are accelerating and amplifying what works at all levels of the global health sector. And, while we are focused on immunization programs and projects, we expect the learnings and best practices will also be relevant across sectors.
The project is already underway, kicking off in October with a meeting to form a steering committee of core partners. These stakeholders will help to guide the direction of the work, ensuring its relevance for multiple agencies, countries, and decision-making bodies, and define the boundaries of evidence gathering for the first phase. In the second phase, a larger group of stakeholders will review the knowledge gathered, distill the analysis into a concise set of practical and usable learnings targeted to support key stakeholder groups in taking action to improve data quality and use. The final phase in the last half of 2018 will focus on dissemination to support and encourage ongoing momentum.
This work is extremely timely, taking advantage of the current interest in adaptive management, evidence-based decision-making and providing a platform for country and global stakeholders to share and continue the conversations about how to most effectively improve immunization coverage and overall health.
Stay tuned as we share more updates on how we will continue to build and expand on the BID Initiative work.