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Faculty & Staff Honors

Johns Hopkins: Philanthropies Renews Grant for Development of Mobile Phone Surveys in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Bloomberg Philanthropies has awarded a new grant to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health that will enable a team of faculty based in the Bloomberg School’s department of international health to study ways to design, implement, and evaluate mobile phone surveys for noncommunicable disease risk factor surveillance in low- and middle-income countries. The grant is part of phase two of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Data for Health initiative, a multi-partner, $100 million initiative aimed at improving health in low or middle income countries (LMICs) by improving the availability and accuracy of population-based, health-related data so governments can prioritize public health interventions.

In the first phase of Data for Health, Bloomberg School researchers focused on designing and assessing the feasibility, acceptability, and implementation modalities for deploying mobile phone surveys to collect non-communicable disease (NCD) risk factor information.

The new $3 million, four-year grant will focus on testing strategies to increase population representativeness, data quality, and reliability, and examining strategies to minimize survey drop-offs. Dr. George Pariyo, senior scientist in the Bloomberg School’s department of international health, is the project lead on the grant.

The Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health investment has already enabled the Hopkins-based team to confirm the feasibility and acceptability of conducting mobile phone surveys across diverse settings in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This award will help further develop strategies to improve the quality and reliability of the data, and to ensure that mobile phone surveys are more representative of disadvantaged populations who are often less likely to respond to surveys.

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