Measuring my work

Jan 25, 2006

Harvard School of Public Health Dean Barry Bloom spoke at UNC-CH today about the global impact of infectious diseases, and while most of the facts and figures he shared weren’t new to me, I came away from the lecture with a much clearer mind because of this point, one of his eight critical steps to fixing global health problems (I’m quoting from his Sept 2005 Scientific American article, Public Health in Transition):

Integrate metrics into all aspects of health care planning. Data on years lost to disability, injury and premature death help to clarify how nations can get the most out of their health care dollars, and the information can be used to hold governments accountable for the well-being of their populations.

That, in essence, is what MEASURE Evaluation, where I work, is all about. In trying to explain what “monitoring and evaluation”—the expertise of MEASURE Evaluation—means, I’ve been telling people that we audit infectious disease prevention programs and public health interventions. Bloom’s explanation of why accurate and timely statistics are crucial for improving health care systems around the world is much better, and I suddenly feel even more proud of the work I’m doing. (I’m the communications and publications manager—I help get those stats published and read.)

Anton Zuiker

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