By Cheikh Faye, Senior Research Officer The Countdown to 2030 regional initiative for Eastern and Southern Africa convened its second data analysis workshop in Naivasha, Kenya, July 9-13. In total, 37...
Our establishment of a Statistics and Surveys Unit was compelled by the need to establish robust data systems for the Center’s work, including the Nairobi Urban Health and Demographic Surveillance System (NUHDSS); and offer technical assistance to external partners in data collection, processing and analysis, including impact evaluation.
We are now positioned as a source of high quality data with expertise in data collection, documentation and analysis. The Unit is leading efforts to enhance data discoverability and promote responsible data sharing, and coordinates our participation in the iSHARE data-sharing portal initiative led by the INDEPTH Network. Our own urban health statistics platform provides one-stop access to key indicators about urban populations in Africa.
The Unit is contributing to the expansion of the Center’s regional footprint. Its work as part of the Data for African Development expert working group that explored the root causes of slow data progress in Africa, involved
strong regional and global partnerships and resulted in specific, actionable recommendations for strengthening national data systems in Africa. More needs to be done to implement these recommendations, specifically with
regard to strengthening national and sub-national data systems to support more effective evidence-informed decision-making.
Our quest for data discoverability continues with an enhanced data visualization platform as well as assignment of digital object identifiers to our publicly shared research products.
Data and measurement will be an institutional signature issue and the Unit, with an expanded mandate to promote the field of measurement, will focus on three key areas:
Country institutional capacity for data analysis is improving but very slowly and not keeping pace with greater data availability. In general, the Ministries of Health and National Statistical Offices in countries in East and Southern Africa have limited analytical and communication capacity, and there is variable institutional capacity outside of government, e.g. national public health institutes and academic institutions. There are several bright spots in the sub-region – institutes with greater capacity– but these often get overloaded with projects and requests from government and development partners.
As part of Countdown to 2030, a global, multi-institutional initiative that aims to improve coverage measurement and monitoring, and strengthen the regional and country capacity for evidence generation and use, APHRC coordinated a regional consortium that brought together research and public health institutions as well as government agencies from 19 countries of Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA), to help them better track and analyse data, and communicate research findings on maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health, reproductive health, and nutrition (RMNCAH&N). The initiative calls on governments and development partners to be accountable, identifies knowledge gaps, and proposes new actions to achieve universal coverage for women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ health.
In the first phase, we were able to:
After two successful analysis workshops organized in November 2017 and July 2018 that brought together government officials and academics from ESA countries, the next step is to support the dissemination and knowledge translation of the evidence generated. Specifically, APHRC plans to support few ESA countries to implement in-country dissemination activities targeting relevant audiences.
It is hoped that the evidence will be used by government decision-makers to improve programming, and increase resource allocation to achieve the national and global targets to end preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths.
Research Uptake Phase: