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Key Considerations for Data Collection, Use for Evaluation, and Monitoring During IDOs

Discover the key considerations for data collection, use for evaluation, and monitoring during Infectious disease outbreaks.

Infectious disease outbreaks (I.D.O) impact traditional approaches to situation analysis and place limitations and new risks on data collection for all actors.

Data collection modalities should be adjusted in response to public health measures that limit access and identified risks.

Understanding how methods can be adapted is key to being able to gain essential data to develop appropriate prevention and response initiatives, tailor needs-based services and ensure continuity through the IDO and beyond.

This summary is adapted from the Child Protection and COVID-19: Data Collection Tips and Key Considerations (Child Protection Area of Responsibility, Global Protection Cluster).

Key challenges for child protection situation and context analysis during IDOs such as COVID-19 include:

  • Adapting to reduced face-to-face interactions with people of concern — reducing the ability of practitioners to undertake community visits and collect data face-to-face.
  • Identifying how information needs to be adapted to effectively communicate.
  • Ensuring privacy and confidentiality of data.

Depending on the phase of the IDO, consider the following adaptations to approaches:

  • Where needed, limit or stop face-to-face data collection and prioritize/mandate “remote” data collection.
  • Limit data collection to essential and critical data. Postpone non-essential data collection.
  • Ensure compliance with public health measures.
  • Equip personnel with the necessary protective equipment where face-to-face contact is continued.
  • Make maximum use of secondary data. Crises generate a large amount of data: consider using existing data, publicly available data and data from other humanitarian actors.
  • SAFELY share your data as much as possible to limit unnecessary data collection. In line with your data protection protocols, share data as much as possible with your partners, clusters, open data platforms, etc.
  • Remember that in the context of a crisis, data is often of imperfect quality due to the difficult data collection conditions.

Top Tips for Adapting Data Collection Strategies During COVID-19

  • Consider replacing quantitative surveys, which can be less informative when not paired with physical visits and observations, with qualitative approaches such as semi-structured telephone interviews.
  • If continuing face-to-face assessment, revise sampling strategies to target limited geographic locations.
  • Make sure that the situation and context analysis planned is essential in the context of the current crisis.
  • Coordinate your efforts. Make sure you are aware of, engage in, and coordinate with inter-agency data collection and communication mechanisms (such as hotlines, SMS systems) to avoid duplication.
  • The public health crisis is context-specific and changes over time. Situation analysis procedures will need to be tailored to each country and context and updated through the stages of the pandemic.

For more in-depth reading on data collection during COVID-19, we encourage you to read this publication by UNICEF on Ethical Considerations for Evidence Generation Involving Children on the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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Protecting Children during Infectious Disease Outbreaks

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