Data Quality Training in Zimbabwe
Earlier this year, MEASURE Evaluation staff in Mozambique had the unique opportunity to help a neighboring country build capacity in M&E.
In September 2010, Marie Joao Nazareth, MEASURE Evaluation’s resident advisor in Mozambique, served as a member of John Snow, Inc.’s (JSI) data quality audit team in Zimbabwe. As part of that process, she disseminated the Routine Data Quality Assessment (RDQA) tool to National AIDS Council (NAC), emphasizing the tool’s importance for routine monitoring.
A few months later, in January 2011, Isaac Taramusi of NAC wrote to MEASURE Evaluation, expressing his appreciation for the RDQA tools. Taramusi explained that NAC had adopted the tools and planned to pilot them. He then went on to ask for MEASURE Evaluation’s assistance in utilizing the RDQA tools for its national HIV & AIDS M&E system.
Sergio Lins, MEASURE Evaluation’s country focal person for Mozambique, and Nazareth saw Taramusi’s request as an excellent opportunity to expand the RDQA tool’s use in Zimbabwe. Three months later, they traveled to Harare to conduct two RDQA workshops.
“The workshops had great participation and enthusiasm,” Lins said. “NAC staff came from all over the country to attend them. It demonstrated that NAC understood the importance of learning this tool in order to work on system strengthening and data quality improvement.”
Fifty-six participants from different partner organizations attended the workshops. Most were M&E or database officers. Organizations represented included NAC, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, JSI, UNAIDS, UNDP ,USAID, Population Services International, World Education, Inc. and Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Each workshop included indoor sessions and discussions as well as outdoor exercises in the field, allowing participants to access health facilities and district offices so that they could actually apply the tool.
“At the end of the second workshop, both groups joined to present and discuss how the tool could be used for enhancing data quality in Zimbabwe’s M&E system,” Lins recalled.
Lins and Nazareth considered the workshops a success, and they enjoyed the opportunity to help a bordering country improve its data quality and assessment process. Participants left the workshop feeling enthusiastic as well.