Data Quality Assessment (DQA) for HIV Program Indicators in Burundi


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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation

Year: 2019

Data Quality Assessment (DQA) for HIV Program Indicators in Burundi Abstract:

As donor funding has increased for disease control and prevention projects in developing countries, so has the need to show a return on investment in the form of public health gains. Monitoring and evaluation of interventions are critical to demonstrate the effectiveness of health programs, but are dependent on data reported by health facilities that are often of poor quality. Resources have been devoted to improving data quality in health and disease programs, yet problems persist as countries struggle to develop and maintain capacity for data management, analysis, and use.

The number of patients on treatment is a valuable indicator to monitor the effectiveness of HIV programs; however, treating patients during their lifetimes and accurately recording the results are challenging. Longitudinal treatment records (registers) for patients who return repeatedly for evaluation and treatment need to be summarized periodically in static reports. Counting accurately becomes more difficult as patients come and go from active treatment cohorts, move from one health facility to another, stop treatment because of side effects, or become lost to follow-up.

With the advent of “test and start”—an effort to expand the number of HIV-positive people on treatment and reduce the “waiting list” (those enrolled in care but not yet on treatment)—more scrutiny has been given to treatment results. The findings of such examinations have not always met expected standards.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a new tool to address the need for data quality assurance for HIV and AIDS program indicators. Although this tool employs methods that are similar to existing tools (e.g., comparison between recounted and reported values, cross-checks between data sources), the CDC tool is more prescriptive about what comparisons and analyses to do and how to conduct them.

The Office of HIV/AIDS at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has allocated resources to address the data quality of HIV and AIDS indicators through the MEASURE Evaluation project. Several countries have implemented data quality assessments (DQAs) using the new CDC tool, including Burundi. This report summarizes the findings of a preliminary DQA in Burundi using the CDC tool.

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