Building skills in data quality assessments in the Philippines

Access to reliable and timely mortality and cause of death statistics is essential for monitoring trends in diseases, injuries and risk factors, and critically important to guide good public health policy and prevention. Training in ANACONDA will build this capacity in the Philippines, enabling them to identify inconsistencies and errors in their mortality datasets and subsequently improve the quality of their mortality statistics.

Manila

Held over two days from 30 January in Manila, the workshop provided staff from regional offices of the Philippines Statistical Authority with the skills needed to apply ANACONDA to their mortality datasets. The 'Analysis of Causes of National Death for Action' (ANACONDA) software tool assists those using it to critically assess the quality of available mortality and cause of death data.

The tool, which is part of the innovation program of BD4H, is being developed by Universities of Melbourne and Basel and has 10 sections with a series of steps in each that check the data for inconsistencies and plausibility, calculate common mortality indicators and also allows graphical presentation of the data.

Access to reliable and timely mortality and cause of death statistics is essential for monitoring trends in diseases, injuries and risk factors, and critically important to guide good public health policy and prevention. Such information is of particular relevance to countries like the Philippines where populations are ageing and disease patterns changing from communicable to non-communicable diseases. 

Integrating this software into their data production and analysis will enable the Philippines to evaluate and interpret their data and confidently use them to plan targeted interventions to improve the population health status. The overall improvement index included in ANACONDA will allow the Philippines to use this tool to track progress in mortality data quality improvements over time.

Participants rated the workshop highly, with many commenting on how useful the tool will be in coming up with analysis of death statistics for planning; the importance of underlying cause of death and impact of 'garbage codes' on their data; and how to interpret and use data effectively. As one participant commented, "wrong data have no use!"