Enabling the public health workforce to collect and use data to guide programs and policies

Enabling the public workforce to collect and use data to guide programs and policiesPartnering in Cote d'Ivoire

In Cote d’Ivoire, MEASURE Evaluation partnered with four national training institutions to build and deliver academic courses that train local health officials in monitoring and evaluation and health information; now, each institution is able to provide these courses independently. With assistance from MEASURE Evaluation, the National Training Institute for Health Agents, the National Training Institute for Social Workers, the National Institute of Applied Economics, and the National Institute of Public Health have trained more than 850 key health professionals including nurses, midwives, social workers, data managers, and program officers. And now that each institution can carry out training on its own, more health facility professionals in Cote d’Ivoire are situated to gain a better understanding of data. A stronger grasp of data among health facility staff members (who are often required to collect data, regardless of how well they understand it) can contribute greatly to higher quality and better use of data.

Developing Leadership in Afghanistan

Through its gender-focused Virtual Leadership Development Program (gender VLDP), MEASURE Evaluation equipped the Afghan Midwives Association with the appropriate tools and creative tactics needed in its effort to break down cultural barriers to collecting data from women. Certain high-risk health conditions, particularly pregnancy and childbirth, are exclusive to women. In male-dominated societies, such conditions can take a backseat to those afflicting both sexes. And the less attention that a high-risk condition receives, the more perilous it becomes. An important step toward ensuring that conditions affecting both sexes are treated equitably is to make sure that data are collected, analyzed, and used with a gender-sensitive focus. Using the tools gained through the gender VLDP, the Afghan Midwives Association team designed a data collection process, trained data collectors, and then sent them out into Afghan communities to employ an approach that engaged women while being respectful of husbands. The team also sought backing from other members of the communities by holding meetings with local health workers and community and religious leaders. In addition to securing community support at the meetings, the team explained the importance of having direct access to women in the data collection process so that women’s health needs are fully met.

Forming a Global Network of Experts

In response to the persistent shortage of M&E professionals and to the insufficient M&E training infrastructure throughout the developing world, MEASURE Evaluation has promoted the growth and sustainability of M&E training programs by building partnerships with training institutes and linking them to form networks; prime examples include the launch of the Global Evaluation and Monitoring Network for Health (GEMNet-Health) and our work with Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). In 2012, eight current and graduated MEASURE Evaluation regional training partners came together to launch GEMNet-Health, with the purpose of fostering growth, collaboration, and South-to-South support for M&E of health programs. As secretariat of GEMNET-Health, MEASURE Evaluation has helped with operations and governance, and is guiding the network to its goal of becoming self-sustaining by August 2014. We have further buoyed M&E training and sustainability by working closely with PHFI, a member of GEMNet-Health. Since beginning its partnership with MEASURE Evaluation, PHFI faculty have become capable of conducting national-level M&E training independently. For example, after completing a MEASURE Evaluation training-of-trainers course and co-teaching at a global geographic information systems (GIS) workshop in 2011, PHFI has led its own national GIS workshops