Enhancing expertise in using data to identify public health issues and design solutions
Investments in data collection and health information systems in low and middle-income countries have greatly increased the data available to inform policymaking. But turning these data into actionable evidence requires organizational capacity for policy analysis. By strengthening staff capacity and systems that link data to policy, government health agencies can make better use of evidence to improve population health, address inequities, and set priorities in line with the evolving burden of disease.
Publishing is imperative to share ideas, advance research, establish best practices, and inform policy. However, the process of developing a scientific paper is complex and requires a specific skill set that includes the ability to frame a question, explain why a study is important, interpret data, communicate results, and suggest implications for public health policy.
Accurate civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) data are critical to understanding national health status and developing appropriate strategies and relevant policies to improve population health. In its absence, countries have an unclear picture of birth and death rates and the causes of death.
Data Impact’s complementary communications initiatives train ministry of health officials and journalists in the effective use of data in public health communication. Effective Use of Data in Public Health Reporting was developed to create an in-country demand for accurate, accessible and transparent data. Guided by the vision that a cadre of journalists, trained in the value of using data in their work, would be more likely to request accurate and timely data from their governments, this initiative builds skills and imparts practical knowledge to working journalists.