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Good Epidemiological Practice

KIT’s Good Epidemiological Practice work aims to improve data quality as a foundation for sound decision making in public health – for epidemiological studies, monitoring and evaluation activities and impact evaluation.

We take a broad view on data quality and give attention to both the processes of data generation (Have all voices been heard? Are the data collection tools appropriate?) as well as appraising the outcomes (Is the data accurate, complete and consistent?). Our work values both quantitative and qualitative research methods.  

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Our flagship work

  • Assessment of implementation and outputs of Afghanistan’s Expanded Program of Immunisations data quality improvement plan

    • Institute
    • Project

    Vaccines have substantially reduced or eliminated many infectious diseases which once killed millions of people. Vaccination programmes not only provide vaccines, but strategic leadership and coordination, cold-chain systems necessary for transport, and programme monitoring and evaluation. Behind every vaccination programme, strong health systems are needed to deliver and scale-up new vaccines and to improve immunisation […]

  • Assessment of Tuberculosis under- or over-Reporting through Inventory Studies

    • Institute
    • Project

    We are assessing the completeness of tuberculosis notification data by retrospective analysis of multiple national tuberculosis databases in six selected EU/EEA Member States. This project will provide information on surveillance completeness and quality, an estimate of the incidence of tuberculosis and information on strengths and gaps in the national surveillance system in  six European countries. […]

  • BRIDGE – Bridging Research Integrity and Global Health Epidemiology

    • Institute
    • Project

    The BRIDGE guidelines are good epidemiological practice (GEP) guidelines specifically for global health epidemiology. Why are specific GEP guidelines needed for global health? Research integrity and research fairness have gained considerable momentum in the past decade and have direct implications for global health epidemiology. Existing good epidemiological practice guidelines developed by national epidemiological associations lack […]

Advancing good epidemiological practice

Good data is a pre-condition for good decision making. Epidemiology shapes policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for prevention. 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.  

Our approach to good epidemiological practice

Our team facilitates the understanding and improvement of complex, multi-stakeholder processes of good epidemiological practice. Key to our approach is ensuring that affected populations and end-users are involved in each step of data generation. This is essential to generating high-quality and useful data.  

Our work is grounded in three primary services, which together contribute to improved epidemiological practice and data quality:  

  1. Develop and apply tools to improve epidemiological practice and data quality  
  1. Apply state of the art statistical and epidemiological methods to appraise data quality. We give due consideration to qualitative research methods in order to obtain a comprehensive view of both processes of data generation and data quality.  
  1. Training and capacity development. We offer regular short courses dedicated to GEP and Monitoring & Evaluation (French and English) from our educational centre in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 

Our Team & Expertise

Our team has decades of experience conducting and advising epidemiological studies and monitoring and evaluation in a diversity of contexts around the world. We come from a wide range of backgrounds—biomedical, statistical, clinical — and specialise in applying epidemiological and statistical methods in combination with qualitative research methods to support decision making for healthcare professionals and policy makers. We also draw on the expertise of KIT advisors working in health system strengthening, sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender. 

Contact us

Do you have a question or want to know more? Contact us by sending an e-mail.

Our publications

  • Stats + Stories Podcast with Sandra Alba

    • Institute
    • Publication

    The work of health researchers is vitally important to the safety and well-being of people around the world, with the COVID-19 crisis making that all too clear. However, health researchers are facing a crisis of their own, a crisis of trust. It’s fueled partly by the proliferation of social media, the politicization of data, and […]

  • Completeness of TB notification: inventory studies and capture-recapture analyses, six European Union countries, 2014 to 2016

    • Institute
    • Publication

    In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the Action Framework towards TB elimination in low-incidence countries, and in 2016, the WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) published the Roadmap to implement the tuberculosis action plan for the WHO European Region 2016-2020: Towards ending TB and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. They outline blueprints to carry out the […]

  • Not everything that counts can be counted: mixed methods impact evaluations in global health

    • Institute
    • Publication

    Posted on May 11, 2020 by BMJ GH Blogs Not everything that counts can be counted. And not everything that can be counted counts – William Bruce Cameron Do vaccination campaigns increase immunization rates in young children?  Do home-visiting programs for new mothers increase exclusive breastfeeding? Studies designed to answer these questions are known as health impact evaluations […]

  • Time to talk about trust

    • Institute
    • Publication

    Public trust in health research needs nurturing. How can epidemiologists help? Do vaccines do more harm than good? A huge body of evidence from epidemiology would say “no”, that vaccines in fact do more good than harm. Yet, despite this evidence, many high-income countries are seeing a drop in vaccination coverage and a surge in […]

  • Bridging research integrity and global health epidemiology (BRIDGE) guidelines: explanation and elaboration

    • Institute
    • Publication

    Over the past decade, two movements have profoundly changed the environment in which global health epidemiologists work: research integrity and research fairness. Both ought to be equally nurtured by global health epidemiologists who aim to produce high quality impactful research. Yet bridging between these two aspirations can lead to practical and ethical dilemmas. In the […]

  • Bridging research integrity and global health epidemiology (BRIDGE) statement: guidelines for good epidemiological practice

    • Institute
    • Publication

    Research integrity and research fairness have gained considerable momentum in the past decade and have direct implications for global health epidemiology. Research integrity and research fairness principles should be equally nurtured to produce high-quality impactful research—but bridging the two can lead to practical and ethical dilemmas. In order to provide practical guidance to researchers and […]

  • Estimating maternal mortality: what have we learned from 16 years of surveys in Afghanistan?

    • Institute
    • Publication

    This article contextualises experience within the history of previous efforts to measure maternal mortality in Afghanistan, reviews lessons learnt and reflects on their implications. ‘Particularly hard hit by Afghanistan’s 23 years of war, civil strife and Taliban misrule are Afghan women, who are experiencing what health officials call ”catastrophic”death rates associated with pregnancy and childbirth’. […]

  • Lies, damned lies and epidemiology: why global health needs good epidemiological practice guidelines

    • Institute
    • Publication

    Epidemiology is the cornerstone of global health. It shapes policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying disease risk factors and preventive healthcare targets. See a report of the Global Myths & Global Risks Public Symposium held at KIT on 18 June 2019! Most epidemiological findings are genuine and make an important contribution to global health, […]

  • Gender matters in household surveys

    • Institute
    • Publication

    When a study of child health in Afghanistan produced an inconsistent result, Sandra Alba realised that men and women can give very different answers to the same questions. She consulted gender experts Franz Wong and Yngve Bråten to understand why.

Media Coverage

Een klein aantal landen domineert de wetenschap, wat tot oneerlijke praktijken kan leiden. Een nieuwe generatie onderzoekers stimuleert verandering door krachtige ethische codes door te voeren. Een dubbelinterview met Doris Schröder en Sandra Alba, die allebei aan innovatieve richtlijnen werkten.

Epidemiologist Sandra Alba is part of a team that developed a new set of guidelines to address issues of research integrity and fairness in international health research collaborations. In this article she explains what the guidelines hope to achieve, and how.

Related work

  • Now more than ever, African governments need reliable data

    • Institute
    • Blog
    • News

    By Sandra Alba, Christina Mergenthaler & Roland Kielman At the end of March 2020, in an interview with the BBC, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the former president of Liberia, spoke about the 2014-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which killed almost 5,000 Liberians. “Fear drove people to run, to hide, to hoard to protect their own,” […]

    Published on:
  • How COVID-19 Spreads Among Us

    • Institute
    • Blog
    • News

    By Ente Rood, KIT Epidemiologist Geographic analysis of COVID-19 surveillance data can help us better understand how the virus spreads and design more effective mitigation measures for future waves of the pandemic. As COVID-19 spreads around the world, politicians and public health authorities are confronted with a devilish dilemma as they try to balance the […]

    Published on:

Epidemiology topics

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