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Collecting and Using Data for Disease Control and Global Health Decision-Making

Address the application of surveillance systems in a wide variety of epidemiological situations and make data-informed decisions.

1,342 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Conduct epidemiologic surveillance to inform decision-making

This informative three-week course will prepare you to meet the challenges of conducting epidemiologic surveillance to gather data to inform decision-making and planning.

Using the polio eradication effort as a case study, you’ll address the application of surveillance systems in a wide variety of settings.

Apply best practices for healthcare data collection and analysis

You’ll identify various different epidemiological systems in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria, and will identify on how to conduct data collection in remote areas.

You’ll then discuss the best practices for conducting epidemiologic surveillance in a wide range of locations, and will come to a range of solutions for the conclusion of how to conduct and use data in a variety of different situations.

Apply the lessons learned from the polio eradication effort

Throughout the course, you’ll reflect on and apply the lessons learned from the global polio eradication initiative, an effort led by the World Health Organisation resolved to eradicate the disease poliomyelitis.

You’ll learn lessons from this initiative - the largest of its kind in history - and will apply data for decision-making going forward. You’ll also discuss the challenges and strategies that can be presented when applying data.

Learn from epidemiology experts at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Convening the Synthesis and Translation of Research and Innovations from Polio Eradication (STRIPE)- a project bringing together polio experts from around the world - you’ll be learning from the best minds at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health; a leading global institution in healthcare.

Many lecturers who teach the course are partners as part of STRIPE, and these partnerships are recognised within every lecture.

What topics will you cover?

  • Field epidemiology and emergency response
  • Understanding surveillance systems with examples from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria
  • Conducting surveillance in hard-to-reach areas
  • Data for decision-making
  • Challenges and strategies in data use

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify various surveillance systems
  • Discuss the best practices for conducting epidemiologic surveillance
  • Apply surveillance techniques in hard to reach areas
  • Discuss best practices for making data-informed decisions
  • Reflect on and apply the lessons learned from the polio eradication effort

Who is the course for?

This course is for people working on or aspiring to work on global infectious disease control programmes.

This can include those working in non-governmental organisations (NGOs), ministries of health, public health agencies, international organisations, healthcare systems, and academic institutions.

Who will you learn with?

Svea is Associate Professor in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is a medical anthropologist who studies health systems.

Olakunle Alonge's teaching and research focuses on advancing the field of implementation research and applying its methods to improve the implementation of complex public health interventions globally

Dr. Kalbarczyk is a faculty member in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Assistant Director of the Hopkins Center for Global Health.

I am a public health physician currently working in health systems strengthening research projects in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

Who developed the course?

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University, America’s first research university, is committed to the pursuit of lifelong learning, independent research, and sharing the benefits of discovery with the world.


The Synthesis and Translation of Research and Innovations in Polio Eradication (STRIPE) project seeks to map, synthesize, and disseminate knowledge from the polio eradication initiative using an implementation science lens.

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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