Friends, I am sharing with you an interview done with Dr. Anoop Khana (Professor at IIHMR University). Prof. Anoop Khanna has a background in social work. He has presented and published several research papers. He has contributed to several operations research projects on training interventions for health functionaries, population programme management, and adolescent health. His areas of interest are population programme management, programme evaluation, HIV/AIDS, and reproductive health.
He also heads the Performance Monitoring, and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) project uses innovative mobile technology to routinely gather data on family planning and water, sanitation and hygiene. Data are collected at household and facility levels via mobile phones through a network of female Resident Enumerators stationed throughout the country. Resident Enumerators (REs), transfer data from smart-phone to a central server via the mobile data network. In real-time, data are validated, aggregated and prepared into tables and graphs, making results more quickly available to stakeholders as compared to a paper-and-pencil survey. PMA2020 can be integrated into national monitoring and evaluation systems by offering a low-cost, rapid-turnaround survey platform that can be used for various other health data needs. A similar program is also being carried out in 11 different countries of Asia and Africa.
The interview is all about PMA2020.
What is the aim of the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) survey?
PMA2020 was originally designed to facilitate annual progress reporting in support of the goals and principles of Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), using an innovative data platform. PMA2020 aims to establish and support low-cost rapid turnaround surveys monitoring key health and other development indicators.
Data are collected at household and health facilities level via mobile phones through a network of female data collectors, known as Resident Enumerators (REs) throughout the country/state. REs transfer data by phone to a central server using the mobile data network. In real-time, data are validated, aggregated, and prepared into tables and graphs, making results quickly available to stakeholders. It is being implemented by local partner universities and research organizations in ten countries across Africa and Asia. Overall direction and support of PMA2020 are provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in collaboration with national partners in each project country. PMA2020 is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In India, PMA2020 is being implemented by Indian Institute of Health Management and Research (IIHMR) University in Jaipur with the endorsement and technical support provided by the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW). PMA2020/Rajasthan is collecting data in 147 sentinel sites which are called Enumeration areas. It is a sample survey which is representative of the state population in both Urban and Rural areas. PMA2020 Rajasthan is currently collecting data on family planning and WASH indicators.
How have IIHMR and John Hopkins collaborated as partners on the survey?
IIHMR has a wide and rich experience in conducting large-scale surveys which made it a suitable partner to implement PMA2020 in India/Rajasthan. IIHMR and John Hopkins also share a long and active partnership prior to implementing the PMA2020.
Post the data collection and analysis, what do the researchers plan to do?
Post data collection and analysis, researchers and program implementers are engaged in disseminating the collected data to the government, development agencies and other stakeholders. Researchers also use the data collected for publication purposes and refer this data for developing various materials to inform relevant policymakers.
What are some of the limitations of the survey method in research of this kind?
PMA2020, as for now, provides estimates at the state level for Rajasthan. It is yet to be extended to the district level. Moreover, it is mainly focused on family planning and water & sanitation components.
What other partnerships are IIHMR and John Hopkins engaged in?IIHMR and Johns Hopkins University have a long relationship in areas of research, training, and academics. They have jointly carried out several research projects. Currently, they are jointly offering the Master of Public Health Program at IIHMR University. Besides this, a project named “PMA Agile” is also being launched in India along with other countries like Kenya, Nigeria, and other Francophone West African countries, for monitoring of initiatives under The Challenge Initiative to improve access to FP services in urban settings.