PEPFAR Reporting Efforts Strengthened in Kenya
To assess and address data quality issues in PEPFAR reporting in Kenya, MEASURE Evaluation contributed to a two-day data quality workshop in Kenya for all PEPFAR partners and counterparts from the Ministry of Health.
The workshop was organized and facilitated by the USG Strategic Information Team (in which MEASURE Evaluation is represented) and the monitoring and evaluation manager of the National AIDS and STI Control Program (NASCOP). The objectives of the workshop were to sensitize partners on the importance of collecting and reporting quality data. The workshop focused on the Routine Data Quality Assessment (RDQA) tool, developed by MEASURE Evaluation as a companion tool to the Monitoring and Evaluation System Strengthening Tool (MESST), which has been adopted by the Global Fund as a requirement for grant signing.
Seventy-one representatives of USG-funded partners and NASCOP attended the workshop. Specific topics covered during the workshop include ensuring the integrity of the systems that help in the generation, management and analysis of data; enhancing the capacity of facilities to generate data that is relevant and reflective of the reality on the ground; improving the quality of tools used to collect data, the timeliness in the collection of data, and the aggregation and the storage of data; and identifying opportunity for setting up a quality improvement and quality assurance system. After several practical exercises, the participants reviewed the RDQA tool for its suitability in Kenya’s health service outlets. Partners agreed to integrate the RDQA process into their routine supportive supervision work.
As of May 2008, over 13 USG partners had implemented RDQA for programs; they did it with minimal TA over the phone, and for many of them, this has become the baseline data for data quality assessment. Preliminary findings from these 13 partners show that most of the partners preferred to undertake RDQA in facility-based interventions (counseling and testing, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, ART, TB and family planning/reproductive health). Some of the frequent weaknesses identified at the facilities were—
- incomplete or unavailable data source records (forms and registers)
- data discrepancies (i.e. data entry errors, arithmetic errors, missing source documents) so that some of the indicator values previously reported could not be reproduced
- shortage or lack of staff with specific data management roles
- staff working in the monitoring and evaluation sections but without relevant skills
- data management standard operating procedures lacking in almost all facilities
Strengths with data management processes that were identified by many of the partners include good filing systems for both hard copy records and soft copies, good reporting rates (above 70% in many cases), availability of data flows to guide data staff, and use of Ministry of Health tools consistently even by non-government agencies.
Anecdotal evidence shows that RDQA efforts have contributed to improvement of reporting rates among USG partners from 60% in 2007 to 82% in 2008. There is also a reduction in the number of episodes of partners making data quality mistakes, leading to more reliable data for PEPFAR and for planning.