Sonja Firth

Technical Associate, Health Statistics and Data/ Disease

Sonja Firth

Sonja is a health systems specialist, with over 12 years’ experience working in countries to implement evidence-based planning and to improve the quality of data used for health programming. Sonja has a Masters Degree in Public Health and has extensive experience developing and delivering training and providing technical support for implementation and evaluation of complex interventions across the Asia-Pacific region.

Recently Sonja worked on an initiative at Melbourne School of Population and Global Health to improve the quality of mortality and cause of death data in a number of countries including Myanmar and Rwanda. In particular she provided technical advice and training on the roll-out, management and analysis of verbal autopsy data, to better understand the causes of community deaths in LMIC. She was also part of a team helping countries analyse the quality of their mortality data, in order to improve it for policy and planning.

Previously Sonja was part of the team for the Bill and Melinda Gates and DFAT-funded ‘Investment Case’ Initiative at the University of Queensland, working with government partners and UNICEF in the Philippines and Indonesia to improve the use of data for maternal and child health policy and planning. She subsequently developed and delivered the technical content for a UNICEF-funded evidence-based policy initiative for resilient health systems to improve health planning during and following disasters.

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