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Methodological Considerations for Use of Routine Health Information System Data to Evaluate Malaria Program Impact in an Era of Declining Malaria Transmission

by on December 12, 2017

Methodological Considerations for Use of Routine Health Information System Data to Evaluate Malaria Program Impact in an Era of Declining Malaria TransmissionCoverage of malaria control interventions is increasing dramatically across endemic countries. Evaluating the impact of malaria control programs and specific interventions on health indicators is essential to enable countries to select the most effective and appropriate combination of tools to accelerate progress or proceed toward malaria elimination. When key malaria interventions have been proven effective under controlled settings, further evaluations of the impact of the intervention using randomized approaches may not be appropriate or ethical. Alternatives to randomized controlled trials are therefore required for rigorous evaluation under conditions of routine program delivery. Routine health management information system (HMIS) data are a potentially rich source of data for impact evaluation, but have been underused in impact evaluation due to concerns over internal validity, completeness, and potential bias in estimates of program or intervention impact. A range of methodologies were identified that have been used for impact evaluations with malaria outcome indicators generated from HMIS data. Methods used to maximize internal validity of HMIS data are presented, together with recommendations on reducing bias in impact estimates. Interrupted time series and dose-response analyses are proposed as the strongest quasi-experimental impact evaluation designs for analysis of malaria outcome indicators from routine HMIS data. Interrupted time series analysis compares the outcome trend and level before and after the introduction of an intervention, set of interventions or program. The dose-response national platform approach explores associations between intervention coverage or program intensity and the outcome at a subnational (district or health facility catchment) level.

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