Four members of the Health Systems Program and Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) attended Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative (D4H) partner’s meeting in New York City, New York in April 2017. Drs. Adnan Hyder, Dustin Gibson, Alain Labrique and George Pariyo were in attendance, as well as Joe Ali from the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.

D4H seeks to help government officials and public health leaders make informed decisions on health care priorities by collecting public health data. The Initiative seeks to improve civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems, explore ways to expand current non-communicable disease (NCD) surveillance efforts, and provide training on data analysis and use to governments in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

JHSPH is a partner organization that is leading the research and development (R&D) component of the non-communicable disease (NCD) arm of the Initiative. Researchers at JHSPH are evaluating the viability of mobile phone surveys to gather NCD risk factor information. Read more on JHSPH’s work with mobile phone surveys for Data for Health.

The partner’s meeting was held April 4 – 5, 2017. The objectives of the meeting were to discuss future opportunities to strengthen global health data, highlight successes in each arm of the Initiative, and review critical work completed in the first two years of funding. Dr. Gibson gave a presentation entitled, Early Findings from Formative Research on Use of Mobile Phones for NCD Risk Factor Data Collection. His presentation addressed research on the potential for mobile phone surveys to collect data on NCD risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy data, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol.

The Health Systems Program is focused on achieving accessible, cost-effective health care and healthy outcomes across the lifespan for families, communities and nations. In the past decade, the Program has conducted projects in over 50 countries, with particular expertise in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where the greatest number of people continue to struggle with deep poverty and unmet health needs.