Country capacity-building workshop

Countdown workshop builds analytical capacity in 9 Countdown countries

21 June 2013

Pelotas workshop attendeesOne of Countdown’s key objectives is to build capacity and skills in Countdown countries for performing data analysis using Countdown methodologies, enabling researchers based in those countries to produce high-impact scholarly publications in the field of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH). Two streams of work are included under this objective. First, country case-studies will document progress in RMNCH in selected countries. Second, cross-country analyses will compare the achievements of different countries regarding specific aspects of RMNCH indicators.

In June 2013 at the International Center for Equity in Health, at the Post-Graduate Program in Epidemiology of the Federal University of Pelotas (Brazil), representatives from Countdown  countries attended a Capacity Building Workshop on the Analysis of Coverage and Equity Data.  Researchers from eight countries — Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Peru — participated in skill-building sessions designed to help them fulfill the following objectives:

  • To understand the nature of Countdown-supported research and related activities, with emphasis on country-case studies, country Countdowns, and cross-country analyses
  • To gain familiarity with the standardized data sets developed for Countdown analyses developed by the Equity technical working group and housed in Pelotas, Brazil, and be able to manipulate the data sets for analysis
  • To carry out standardized analysis of coverage indicators at national level, as well as on equity analyses involving sub-national breakdowns
  • To acquire skills in preparing manuscripts for publication in high-impact professional journals

Participants received training in Countdown equity and coverage analyses, and acquired skills that will be useful for conducting in-depth country case-studies and cross-country analyses. They were also trained in the Lives Saved Tool (LiST), so that estimates of lives saved may be included in their analyses. Training was provided by members of Countdown’s technical working groups on Equity and Coverage, based at the Federal University of Pelotas, Johns Hopkins University, and UNICEF.

At the close of the one-week workshop, attendees remarked on the quality of the training they had received, and on the impact it will have on their research. “It was,” wrote one participant from Afghanistan, “an amazing, productive, and memorable week. We learned so much.”

Presentations, practical exercises, and datasets presented at the workshop can be downloaded below:

pdfWorkshop agenda [77 KB]

Lecture 1: Countdown to 2015 & Countdown country case studies: Scope, objectives, audience, contents, dissemination

Lecture 2: Data sources  – surveys: DHS & MICS, contents, coverage (time and countries), technical issues, available resources

Lecture 3: Countdown coverage indicators: Description of indicators, definitions, sources, uses and limitations

Lecture 4: Mortality data and estimation: Overview of IGME methods; importance of ensuring case studies use standard methods; options for technical assistance

Lecture 5: Non-survey coverage data used in the Countdown profiles: Issues related to non-survey data used in the Countdown profile (registration, interagency estimates, adjustments, etc.) for each topic: HIV, immunization, nutrition, WASH, health

Lecture 6: The role of equity analyses in case studies

Lecture 7: Health equity: concept, measurement and interpretation — Defining health equity, absolute vs. relative, measures, interpretation, limitations

Lecture 8: Disseminating results of country studies

Lecture 9: Time trends in equity analyses: Interpreting changes in absolute and relative inequalities, the 4-quadrant graph

Lecture 10: Next steps in country case studies

Practicum 1: Coverage: First approach to Stata and datasets; Prepare descriptive analysis of selected indicators along the continuum of care

Practicum 2: Coverage and equity: Working with the equity database in Excel and Stata, graphs by subgroups and the 5-dot equity plot

Practicum 3: Main equity indicators: Calculation of the concentration index and SII from individual and aggregated data

Practicum 4: Time trend analyses

Country presentations

Note: Additional tools developed for the Country Countdown capacity-building workshop held at the Women Deliver conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in June 2013 are available for download here.