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Data for Action

Fed by extensive ITM & partner experience, this 3-week course helps you use the untapped power of routine data to incite policy change.

Short Courses

  • Face-to-face

  • Antwerp

5 ECTS Credits



About the course


A wealth of data are “routinely” collected to monitor the utilization and coverage of health services and activities, to follow-up the status of high risk patients and/or to survey the appearance of health problems or demographic events.

Data sources of these monitoring and surveillance systems are mostly public but still insufficiently known and/or used. Lack of data management skills to deal with incomplete data sets and the limited knowledge of data analysis tools and frameworks/designs lead to a substantial underutilization of data.

However, policy makers and health managers need well-prepared information to tailor their decision making and action to the size, nature, and spread of health problems or to factors influencing service coverage for particular population groups.

This short course targets health professionals, health system and programme managers and researchers involved in or interested in the analysis of routine/existing/secondary data and its use for action.

The analysis of primary research data or ‘big data’ are outside the scope of this course. Study designs for the evaluation of health programmes are covered in the course “Design & Evaluation of Health Programmes”.

The “Data for Action”-course draws on expertise of ITM staff and its partner institutions in data management and analysis, surveillance & monitoring systems and operational research.  The course also builds on the rich exchange of experience between participants working in different systems and settings. 

Learning objectives

At the end of the course the participants should be able to:

  • Define a health policy or programmatic information gap to be addressed with routine data analysis
  • Identify strengths and limitations of a range of routine/secondary data sources and propose solutions to improve data collection, database building and data organisation
  • Deal with incomplete data sets in the analysis
  • Ensure data security and adherence to regulations, respecting ownership of data
  • Use an appropriate design and tools for the analysis of different types of routine/secondary data
  • Interpret and present the results of the analysis
  • Formulate a key information document to inform policy makers, based on the summary of the data analysis and including clear recommendations for decision making and action 

Tuition fee

€ 730 EEA / 1900 non-EEA

Course Leader(s)

  • Veerle Vanlerberghe
  • Kathy Kreppel

Course Coordinator(s)

  • Marjan Pirard

Course Administrator(s)

  • Marianne Hilgert