Malaria Indicator Survey Tool Implemented in 8 African Countries

MEASURE Demographic Health Surveys (DHS) and MEASURE Evaluation worked together to develop a core set of malaria program indicators and data collection tools.

In 2001, MEASURE Evaluation contributed to the 5-year evaluation of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership by examining the monitoring and evaluation components of the initiative. One of the gaps in malaria M&E identified was the lack of timely, consistent data on malaria program coverage. To improve the data collection mechanisms, MEASURE Demographic Health Surveys (DHS) and MEASURE Evaluation worked together to develop a core set of malaria program indicators and the necessary data collection tools.

Starting in 2003, MEASURE Evaluation and MEASURE DHS began working closely with UNICEF, under the auspices of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership M&E Reference Group (MERG), to develop consistent modules for malaria data collection for inclusion in both the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) and the DHS. In addition, a 'stand-alone' survey tool, Malaria Indicator Survey' (MIS), was developed for use in countries that either did not have a recent DHS or MICS, or for interim data collection in between the larger demographic surveys. The module is shorter than the large demographic surveys, focuses on malaria only, and allows for the inclusion of parasitemia and anemia as biomarkers for measurement of disease burden. In addition to the survey instrument, the team also developed a guidance package for implementers including supervisors' and interviewers' manuals, a sampling guide, and a tabulation plan. The package was published and disseminated initially in 2005.

The first use of the survey through the MEASURE DHS project, was in Angola in 2006, but prior to that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnership in Africa Project (MACEPA) used the tool for its baseline survey in early 2006. Since that time, the survey tool has been implemented in 8 countries - Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Zimbabwe, and Zambia - by a diverse array of organizations including the Carter Center, CDC, MACEPA, and the Malaria Consortium. The data from the surveys are useful to monitor and improve malaria control programming; most survey reports are available online.