Epidemiology is the cornerstone of global health. It shapes policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease, and targets for preventive healthcare. As the foundation of quantitative monitoring and evaluation activities and counterfactual impact evaluations, it also provides the evidence base for the scale-up of health interventions.
Advancing the GEP guidelines
Most epidemiological research findings are genuine and make an important contribution to public health. But, as we argued in the
BMJ Global Health Journal, epidemiology, like any other profession, is liable to malpractice. Findings are sometimes obtained from ill-designed, badly implemented, inappropriately analysed or selectively reported studies. In other words ‘bad’ studies. These have no place in global health because they undermine the willingness of the general public and governments to act upon genuine findings.
We recently completed a Delphi study to develop and validate a set of Good Epidemiology Practice (GEP) guidelines for global health studies. The Delphi method is commonly used to reach consensus on a certain issue from a group of experts through multiple rounds of questionnaires and face-to-face meetings. With this method we were able to seek and incorporate the input of more than 60 experts involved in the commissioning, conduct, appraisal and publication of global health research. We are currently preparing a scientific manuscript describing the methodology and results of this study mid-2020. Meanwhile the preliminary guidelines are available to download here:
Guidelines for Good Epidemiological Practice.
The guidelines alone will not guard global health from questionable research practices, however, we believe that they are critical to ensure accountability and transparency.
courses and offer technical assistance that incorporate relevant elements of GEP. We also offer tailor-made trainings that deal with specific components of GEP in greater depth.
Please contact Sandra Alba (
firstname.lastname@example.org) Masja Straetemans ( M.Straetemans@kit.nl) or Daniel Jeanneto ( email@example.com) for any queries or comments.
These are preliminary guidelines. They were first developed internally by KIT epidemiologists and were then presented to global health experts from all over the world for validation through a Delphi consultation process.
Epidemiology is the cornerstone of global health. It shapes policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying disease risk factors and preventive healthcare targets.