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11. Evaluation of HIV Strategic Information Systems and STI surveillance

July 8, 2020 @ 12:00 am UTC+0

Evaluation of an HIV strategic information system aims to ensure that the system is monitoring effectively the course of the HIV epidemic. Evaluation enables  to estimate the utility of the system for decision-making, treatment, care and prevention and further HIV research. Evaluation of a  system is a significant learning tool and forms a basis for improving the existing system. Field experiences in conducting  system evaluation indicate that it requires good planning, clear objectives, and a process appropriate for the epidemic context.

Several papers published by WHO and UNAIDS analysed the quality of HIV surveillance systems according to several attributes, including 1) frequency and timeliness, 2) appropriateness of populations under surveillance, 3) consistency of the sites/locations and groups measured over time, and 4) coverage/representativeness of the groups.

A general framework for evaluating a public health surveillance system developed by the US CDC consists of the following steps:

  • engaging stakeholders
  • identifying and clarifying objectives
  • describing the system
  • describing the system performance
  • conclusions and recommendations
  • communication

An assessment of how the surveillance system is performing is the key element of the evaluation. It consists of a description of the following attributes of the system: simplicity; flexibility; data quality; acceptability; sensitivity; positive predictive value; representativeness; timeliness and stability.

The course will in particular reflect on the WHO/UNAIDS guidance document, which presents a new framework for evaluation addressing the full range of strategic information activities.  This framework is based upon the lessons learned from assessing, updating, and revising HIV surveillance systems in a variety of regions and contexts.


Learning objectives

The course will outline the principles and methods of evaluation of each major component of HIV and STI SI system (case reporting, population-based and facility-based surveys, HIV patient monitoring and programmatic data sources). Lectures will address in particular evaluation in terms of the performance of the system, assessed primarily through data quality, representativeness and stability. Exercises based on real surveillance data and case examples will be used to illustrate the challenges in evaluation and data interpretation.


Key topics

  • Obtaining useful and high-quality HIV surveillance data
  • Evaluation of HIV SI systems in terms of design and key components
  • Evaluation of HIV case reporting and reporting of AIDS deaths
  • Evaluation of population-based surveys
  • Evaluation of programmatic data sources, including testing and treatment data 
  • Evaluating the analysis, dissemination and use of surveillance data
  • Implementation issues that influence surveillance data quality
  • Principles of effective data use


Teaching Methods

The course consists of lectures, exercises and presentations. Exercises will use real examples of surveillance data with the aim to gain skills in data interpretation and using data for planning of interventions. The group work will consist of development of a proposal for evaluation of a national/ regional HIV surveillance system, or a regional/ national surveillance report.


Target Audience

HIV programme managers, surveillance officers, public health professionals.


This course was held in:

  • Zagreb, Croatia



The course takes place in five days.


July 8, 2020
12:00 am UTC+0
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