Geospatial Analysis in Global Health M&E: A Process Guide to Monitoring and Evaluation for Informed Decision Making

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Author(s): Moise IK, Cunningham M, Inglis A.

Year: 2015

Geospatial  Analysis in Global Health M&E: A Process Guide to Monitoring and Evaluation for Informed Decision Making Abstract:

Download EXERCISE DATA for Appendix 7

Geospatial Analysis in Global Health: A Monitoring and Evaluation Guide for Making Informed Decisions provides monitoring and evaluation (M&E) practitioners an overview of geospatial analysis techniques applicable to their work. This guide shows how geospatial analysis can be used to support public health program decision-making along with routine planning and M&E.

The use of geographic information systems (GIS) for M&E of health programs is expanding. As a result of this expansion, a growing number of users are seeking to move beyond basic GIS techniques (such as facility mapping), into more advanced GIS applications that combine various GIS techniques, outputs, and routine M&E datasets to conduct geospatial analysis. However, knowing which advanced analysis approaches are most relevant for M&E can be challenging for M&E professionals with limited formal GIS training.

To identify the most appropriate spatial analysis techniques and help M&E professionals understand how to incorporate them into M&E, MEASURE Evaluation convened an experts meeting on Spatial Analytical Methods for M&E in December 2013 in Rosslyn, Virginia.

Participating in the meeting were 18 GIS and global health experts with experience in either spatial analysis or M&E. The meeting’s objective was to identify key decision points where M&E practitioners might include spatial analysis techniques in their work. The participants identified several key challenges that M&E practitioners faced when including geospatial analysis in their work:

  • Mixed skill levels—basic to advanced—among GIS practitioners in many settings.
  • Limited knowledge of GIS among public health decision makers.
  • Limited understanding among M&E practitioners about how to use GIS in M&E.
  • Limitations and incompleteness exist in many of the commonly available routine public health and programmatic datasets.

To address these challenges, meeting participants recommended the development of a guide to give M&E and GIS practitioners an overview of how to select appropriate geospatial analysis techniques to help overcome the drawbacks of commonly used M&E data. This guide provides examples of ways to apply geospatial analysis within the context of M&E, along with resources for additional information if needed.

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