Good Epidemiological Practice

Epidemiology is the cornerstone of public 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 (M&E) activities and counterfactual impact evaluations (CIE), it provides the evidence base for the scale-up of health interventions.

Most findings resulting from the application of epidemiological research methods are genuine and make an important contribution to public health, but epidemiology, like any other profession, is liable to malpractice. Findings are sometimes obtained from ill-designed or badly implemented, inappropriately analysed or selectively reported studies. In other words ‘bad’ studies, which have no place in public health as they undermine the willingness of the general public and governments to act upon genuine findings.

Our approach

We strive to ensure that our studies are ‘good’ studies, by:

  • Being aware of all existing guidelines and recommendations;
  • Understanding criticism from peers in other academic fields or from industry;
  • Being open to debate and scrutiny;
  • Willingness to incorporate lessons learned, including from other disciplines.

At KIT Royal Tropical Institute we strive to ensure that our results are obtained and presented according to Good Epidemiological Practice. However, we realise there must be a reasonable balance between investment in study procedures and the scope of a study. We build upon decades’ long experience in the field but are constantly driven to stay up to date with the latest technological advances in health research and data management. Along the way, we have built a body of practical knowledge based on our experiences as well as recommendations and practices from national associations, international organisations, academia, and the industry.

Ethical, efficient and verifiable studies

Using our tools and know-how we work towards ethical, efficient and verifiable studies: from protocol writing to data management and analysis plans, from questionnaire design to data collection and data entry systems, from programming to study reporting.

The courses we run and our technical assistance all incorporate relevant elements of GEP. We also offer tailor-made training that that deals with specific components of GEP in greater depth.

Our preliminary GEP guidelines can be downloaded here. Our guidelines are currently being piloted internally before finalisation. These guidelines were developed by KIT Royal Tropical Institute staff following the AGREE II methodology. However we welcome reliance, reference or feedback on our guidelines from all interested parties. For any queries or comments contact Sandra Alba ( or Christina Mergenthaler (