DSS Eldoret Moi

Demographic surveillance system – Webuye – VLIR IUC.
Click for DSS Nairobi

Draft note in preparation of the meeting of 06.07.09. Jan De Maeseneer 

1. Introduction

In the framework of the VLIR-IUC-project health it was agreed in 2007 that a Demographic Surveillance System (DSS) would be developed observing the Webuye community. This document has been made as addendum to the general outline of the DSS Manual (May 2009). When the concept of the DSS was developed, it was prioritized that an interaction with the population, at the different stages, would be essential and that it should have an interdisciplinary focus. Moreover, it was agreed that results from the DSS should be relevant for developmental action in the community, utilising different strategies, e.g. feedback to the community, Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC). And results should be used for scientific purposes.

2. General objectives

ŸGeneral developmental objective: to collect relevant data in the community, that may contribute to a “community diagnoses” of important problems. This should be the basis for a strategy to be developed in permanent interaction with the local population and stakeholders, leading to improvement of the general status of the community, including living conditions and health. The results should guide decision makers leading to policy changes.

ŸGeneral scientific objective: to develop and improve relevant data collection tools in the community, to analyse data in order to identify important problems in the community, to develop and monitor interventions, and to assess evolution overtime. The strategies and findings of this process should be documented and reported in scientific publications. In each wave specific objectives should be updated and defined.

3. Structure of the DSS

The establishment of a scientific committee and an operating committee is of utmost importance. Both committees will make monthly reports including the actions points, outcomes and decisions taken. These reports will be available for all involved in the DSS process.

Composition of the scientific committee:

  • The present scientific committee as proposaed in the DSS Manual (May 2009) consisting of the team leader and other members of the Health section in the IUC
  • Representatives of other disciplines from Moi University in the IUC (gender, food, engineering, informatics)
  • Representatives of the Northern partner
  • ICT advisor

Composition of the operating committee:

  • DSS team leader
  • Other members who are daily active in the DSS project

Tasks of the scientific committee:

  • To update and discuss the objectives of the DSS
  • To make sure the most appropriate(quality and cost-effective) tools for DSS data collection and data management are used
  • To review and accept/reject research proposals with new questions in the DSS
  • To supervise ongoing research activities
  • To manage the gained data as intellectual property
  • To give feedback to the committee
  • To communicate with the different stakeholders
  • Process monitoring and evaluation

Tasks of the operating committee:

  • To coordinate daily activities
  • To reassure transparent communication

4. General outline of Webuye DSS

The DSS will be the result of different “waves of data collection”. The first wave took place in spring 2009. Each “wave” will include the following steps:

4.0 continuous and transparent communication between scientific and operating committee

4.1. Definition of the specific objectives: both the scientific and developmental objectives of each wave should be updated.

4.2. Definition of the research questions.

4.3. Development of the questionnaires. This starts with selection of data and of the appropriate questions to collect the data, taking into account validity and reliability.

4.4. Development of a communication strategy towards the local population and stakeholders.

4.5. Organisation of a pilot study in order to test the questionnaire, and if needed, adaptation of the questionnaire.

4.6. Data collection on the field.

4.7. Data entry and cleaning

4.8. Data-analysis by the researchers within the DSS team and collaborating partners. Reporting.

4.9. Feedback towards the population: after every wave, the population should be informed about the relevant findings of the survey.

4.10. Publications of the results, both in scientific journals, and in public communication (Press,…).

5. Matrix: planning DSS: proposal for the different waves

Interesting website to find good DSS questionnaires: www.dhsmeasures.com. Moi is active in preventing chronic diseaeses. See also http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/globalhealth/centers/kenya-center-of-excellence.htm

How to implement new research questions into the DSS

  • A concept paper/ proposal (to be discussed open or standardized) should be sent to the scientific committee. Including the following issues:
  1. Background
  2. Research question
  3. Specific objectives
  4. Questions to be implemented in DSS
  5. Timeline (how many waves)
  6. Ethical considerations
  7. Analysis plan
  8. Context (what will the results be used for e.g. paper, PhD, policy plan)
  9. Scientific committee (once per month) will discuss this in the following meeting
    1. Scientific relevance/ quality
    2. Overlap reduction
    3. Ethical aspects
    4. Collaboration context that can be established
    5. Renumeration will be discussed from
      1. IUC members
      2. others
  10. Feedback from scientific committee in writing to researchers
  11. Ethical approval request to be submitted
  12. 12. Final approval by scientific committee
  13. 13. Successful pilot experiment (to be discussed to be done by DSS or researcher)
  14. 14. Implementation of new questions in the next wave
  15. Data cleaning and data release (to be discussed full database or only selected questions)