M&E best practices: Enhancing data quality and supporting data use for health program design and improvement


The Monitoring and Evaluation Best Practices Conference will serve as a forum for the sharing and cross-learning of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) best practices across health stakeholders to strengthen the capacity of individuals and organizations to improve data quality, and to use high-quality data for efficient, evidence-based decision-making. The theme of the conference will highlight current context, novel contributions, best practices and lessons learned in the use of M&E data for program design and improvement in Tanzania. The use of M&E can play a significant role in strengthening national health systems and services, reducing costs, and providing information and evidence for policy and decision making by leveraging key decision makers to improve the availability and use of information.

In Tanzania, all councils and health facilities are required to collect, process, analyze and make use of data for evidence-based decision making. Significant investments have already been made by the government and development partners to strengthen the country’s health management information system, including connecting all councils to DHIS2. As the Tanzania DHIS2 and other specific program based data systems continue to generate information, public health officials have been working through the rollout, implementation, analysis, interpretation and visualization of data to better inform national, regional and council-level health service delivery, with the ultimate goal of improving health outcomes of the population. M&E plays a vital role in meeting these goals by ensuring that complete and accurate health information is provided in a timely manner, where it is needed and to whom it is needed, to improve the quality and efficiency of prevention programs and healthcare delivery.

The First Annual M&E Best Practices Conference will include keynote presentations, individual oral presentations and plenaries, multitrack panel discussions, and poster presentations. The conference will also include technical workshops to build capacity in critical M&E skills, roundtable discussions on topics selected by conference attendees, and “lightning talks” showcasing promising M&E methods, tools and products currently being used in the field of global health in East Africa.

The conference invites authors to submit their original contributions of M&E scientific research, or program or community level experiences, specifically related to health program or intervention design and improvement, as either an abstract (request for keynote, plenary, panel, poster presentation) or lightning talk.

Abstract submissions should fall within one of the tracks below:

  • Track 1: Routine data use for enhanced efficiency, quality and targeting of health services
  • Track 2: Innovative strategies for improving data quality
  • Track 3: Synthesis of data from multiple data sources and health information systems for reporting, strategic planning, and continuous quality improvement
  • Track 4: New technologies for data collection, management, visualization and dissemination

A subset of highly ranked abstracts will be invited to give individual plenary presentations. The next ranked subset will be invited to present in a panel discussion while the remaining accepted abstracts will be invited to present posters. Abstracts highlighting a specific product or tool may request to be considered for or asked to provide a lightning talk to share the processes and results of digital M&E tools and products being rolled out in Tanzania and beyond.

Accepted abstracts, complete papers and posters from the conference will be disseminated through the Mzumbe University website http://sopam.mzumbe.ac.tz/ and the Centre of Excellence in Health Monitoring and Evaluation website http://coehme.mzumbe.ac.tz/. The conference proceedings will be reviewed, edited and published through the East African Journal of Applied Health Monitoring and evaluation http://eajahme.com/. High quality papers submitted for the conference will be recommended for publication through peer-reviewed journals including EAJAHME. The conference output will also be used as reference materials and cases for teaching M&E and other health programs offered by the university.