Tool to Assess the Quality of Data on the Number of People on Antiretroviral Therapy: User Guide

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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation

Year: 2020

MEASURE Evaluation. (2020). Tool to Assess the Quality of Data on the Number of People on Antiretroviral Therapy: User Guide. Chapel Hill, NC. USA: MEASURE Evaluation, University of North Carolina
Tool to Assess the Quality of Data on the Number of People on Antiretroviral Therapy: User Guide Abstract:

Data from health facilities must be of high quality for U.S. government funders and for the country’s policymakers to make sound decisions on health policy, health programs, and the allocation of scarce resources.

At the request of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Zambia and with the benefit of expert guidance from the mission, the USAID- and United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)-funded MEASURE Evaluation project and USAID/Zambia developed and implemented an intervention-based, expedited data quality assessment (EDQA) that was intensive and used a rapid set of activities and assessments focused on data quality. This tool (which is available here: is based on Zambian experience where a novel method for classifying cases by treatment status was used that included organization of client records and cleaning of data. An assessment team can use the tool to clean up client files; it helps to clarify, identify, and follow up with clients classified as lost to follow-up (LTFU). Stakeholders needing to clean up files and improve the quality of data for the HIV clients currently on treatment are encouraged to use this tool.

The tool focuses exclusively on the TX_CURR indicator (number of individuals currently on antiretroviral therapy [ART]) because the assessment of this indicator, in particular, requires effort and procedures well beyond what is needed for most HIV indicators. Verification of this indicator requires a thorough review of the individual (paper-based) client file folders. In many health facilities, these will number in the hundreds, and in the larger hospitals, there can be thousands of files to review. Sorting, organizing, reviewing, and documenting these files for an accurate indicator recount is an especially complicated and time-consuming process.

The materials presented here incorporate experience gained from a collaborative effort between the MEASURE Evaluation project and USAID/Zambia. The manual and Excel-based tool are designed to facilitate efforts by USAID missions and their implementing partners in PEPFAR priority countries to undertake expedited data quality assessments for the TX_CURR indicator, during regularly scheduled site visits. Although the tool was built from instruments developed and used for a particular assessment in Zambia, it can be readily adapted to a specific country context. The tool is intended for use by health program staff, including project directors and program and monitoring and evaluation officers who work in HIV-sector initiatives, such as PEPFAR. These concepts and procedures can be adapted to fit an indicator quality assessment for any type of program providing ART in any country. The EDQA can be used as an intervention when source documents are found to be incomplete or inconsistent after assessment with the lotq uality assurance sampling triage system or following a more comprehensive data quality assessment.