A Guide for Conducting Malaria Data Review Meetings

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Author(s): Hai, T., Andrada, A., & Yé, Y.

Year: 2020

Hai, T., Andrada, A., & Yé, Y. (2020). A Guide for Conducting Data Review Meetings. Chapel Hill, NC, USA: MEASURE Evaluation, University of North Carolina
A Guide for Conducting Malaria Data Review Meetings Abstract:

Routine health information systems, including surveillance systems, have become critical tools to streamline malaria control efforts in endemic countries. Governments and health programs rely on health information systems to allocate resources to subpopulations to optimize interventions (Ashton, Bennett, Yukich, Bhattarai, Keating, & Eisele, 2017; World Health Organization, 2017). These systems often face data quality issues that limit their use by service providers and decision makers to better inform health services (Chilundo, Sundby, & Aanestad, 2004). To improve the quality of the data generated from these systems, national malaria control programs (NMCPs) from several malaria-endemic countries began to conduct regular data review meetings at the subnational levels (e.g., counties; health facilities) to review and address data quality issues.

These periodic data review meetings provide feedback on the quality of routine malaria data and the use of data to improve service delivery. The need for good-quality data at subnational levels, particularly at service delivery points (health facilities), increases as transmission reduces and the risk of epidemics increases; health facilities need to be analyzed more frequently to ensure early detection of a potential outbreak or abnormal increases in cases (World Health Organization, 2018). Data review meetings bring together national and subnational stakeholders to identify data quality issues more immediately and provide an opportunity to use the data to identify gaps in the performance of health services compared to national policy. The results should be converted into informational presentations to allow participants to assess trends and define action plans quickly to address data quality and performance disparities.

MEASURE Evaluation conducted a review in five malaria-endemic countries (the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, and Mali) to understand how NMCPs conduct data review meetings. The review found that countries have different processes for conducting these meetings. Some countries have better structures in place to improve data quality and use data for service delivery compared to other countries. Although NMCPs conduct data review meetings periodically, we did not come across consolidated standard guidelines or protocols for conducting these meetings. In addition, few documents exist on the follow-up action plan recommended from these meetings. In light of these findings, MEASURE Evaluation proposes a brief standard protocol for these periodic data review meetings. The protocol aims to highlight the best practices for conducting data review meetings and is derived from the findings of the review (see MEASURE Evaluation, 2019). Having a standard protocol that countries can use and adapt to their specific context can streamline the validation process, optimize data use, and improve the documentation of follow-up actions to improve data quality and service delivery.

Access a related report on data review meetings in five countries

Filed under: RHIS , Data , Health Information Systems , Malaria control , Malaria , Routine Health Information Systems , Surveillance , Data Quality