Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dialog with WHO in early 2007

During the course of 2007 Tr-Ac-Net and IMMC have made many efforts to participate in the establishment of systems of performance metrics for the malaria subsector, and to help with the operation of malaria control performance metrics. In general, there is a willingness on the part of the official relief and development agencies (like WHO) to have a modest amount of dialog ... to do some talk ... but almost no interest in getting down to doing the walk.

The following is dialog with WHO earlier in 2007. It comprises just 4 messages ... with my last message going unanswered.

The Tr-Ac-Net plan is to share our experience with the instititions of the relief and development sector, including that of specific individuals ... good and bad ... with a wider public than has been normal up to now. This is essential if there is going to be any realistic accountability in these organizations. It is not going to be comfortable ... but performance has been so poor in the relief and development sector that some relatively strong initiatives are required.

Message 1 ... Peter Burgess to Dr. Arate Kochi at WHO

Peter Burgess
IMMC and an integrated approach to malaria abatement
Peter Burgess
Thu, Mar 22, 2007 at 11:50 AM

Dear Dr. Kochi

I think one of my colleagues, Paul Driessen, met you when you were in Washington in December at the President's Malaria Summit. He has suggested I should contact you directly to introduce IMMC – The Integrated Malaria Management Consortium.

The potential for more fund flows into the malaria sub-sector is good news, but results depend not only on how much is disbursed, but how it is used.

I have been brought into IMMC to address the issue of data and decisions in the malaria sub-sector and ways to use management information to optimize the use of resources. When smallpox was eradicated there were millions of people involved in surveillance and interventions were totally focused on where intervention was needed.

With malaria ... the mosquito and the environment must be addressed ... and the parasite ... in order to have a sustainable result in terms of reduced malaria burden in society. With appropriate data, interventions can focus on the part of the transmission cycle where results will be maximized ... prevention ... and cure can get used as part of an overall initiative to reduce transmission as much as to reduce the pain of the illness.

Cost is only of analytical interest in relation to the results being achieved ... that is how much malaria is reduced in the society.

A lot is known about malaria, and it is interesting that Dr. Larry Brilliant is bringing back the idea that eradication is possible IF the right approach is used, including using surveillance and data to drive decisions about interventions and the use of resources.

I am attaching a short brief about IMMC ... the experience represented in the IMMC group is substantial, and from multiple disciplines needed to have a successful outcome rather rapidly. I think IMMC is the right idea, in the right place, and at the right time.

Please can you point us to the people in your organization who will be the most interested in the IMMC approach both at headquarters and in the field.


Peter Burgess
Peter Burgess
The Transparency and Accountability Network: Tr-Ac-Net in New York
IMMC - The Integrated Malaria Management Consortium Inc.
212 772 6918
Print on demand books: Search: Peter Burgess
"Hundreds of Issues that Impact Relief and Development Performance"
"Revolutionary Change for Relief and Development"
"Iraq - A New Direction – A Strategy for Peace"
IMMC Brief D 070303k.pdf ... 892K

Message 2 ... Dr. Arate Kochi at WHO to Peter Burgess

Kochi, Arata
Fri, Mar 23, 2007 at 7:49 AM
To: Peter Burgess
Cc: "Aregawi Weldedawit, Maru" , "Cibulskis, Richard" , "Spinaci, Sergio" , "Mendis, Kamini Nirmala" , "Guillet, Pierre" , "Buj, Valentina" , "Crowell, Valerie"

Dear Mr Burgess

Thank you for contacting me.

I am very glad to know that someone start to tackle information management system issues for malaria, which is far far behind that of TB, Immunization, even AIDS.

One of the major thrust for WHO Global Malaria Program is to develop simple , but timely and effective information management system for malaria activates in the world.

We have already made some tangible progress on this field, and very interesting in interacting with agencies like yours.

The focal person in GMP is Mr Maru Aregawi for this.

Maru and others please look at this attachment and ready for interaction with him.
Looking forward to hearing from you .


-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Burgess []
Sent: 22 March 2007 17:52
To: Kochi, Arata
Subject: Fwd: IMMC and an integrated approach to malaria abatement
[Quoted text hidden]
Message 3 ... Dr. Maru Aregawi at WHO to Peter Burgess

Aregawi Weldedawit, Maru
Fri, Mar 23, 2007 at 8:23 AM
To: Peter Burgess
Cc: "Kochi, Arata" , "Cibulskis, Richard" , "Spinaci, Sergio" , "Mendis, Kamini Nirmala" , "Guillet, Pierre" , "Buj, Valentina" , "Crowell, Valerie"

Dear peter,

As per Dr Kochi's brief note, I would like to establish the communications with you and your institution. Let me take this opportunity to give some more highlight on surveillance, M&E, activities of the Global Malaria Programme (GMP) of WHO.

Cognizant of the importance of malaria information and the challenges to regularly track reliable and quality data, WHO has significantly invested and developed relevant tool and strategies that would enable us to channel information regularly from lowest possible Administration level of the countries to build global database. The tool tracks data from the routine HMIS, surveys and sentinel sites. We are in the process of rolling out this database to over 50 countries- where over 30 of them will be in Africa. The database is basically a Management tool for the country programmes that interacts with the overall HMIS and health systems; and enables them to monitor performance and to store retrospective and prospective data dynamically. These data will be the basis for Regional and Global reports on malaria burden, trends and progress of interventions. WHO will share the data systematically and made it available for use by other stake holders.

This investment GMP/WHO is going to continue and sustain in collaboration with interested partners. Therefore, we welcome your interest and collaboration in this endeavor.
As we value your contributions, let us know how concretely you would like to participate in the exercise.

Thank you and look forward to working with you,

Dr Maru Aregawi
Acting Coordinator
Surveillance, Monitoring and Evaluation (SME),
Global Malaria Programme,
HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria (HTM) Cluster,
World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
Office: L-270
Tel: +41 22 791 3905
Fax:+41 22 791 4824

Message 4 ... Peter Burgess to Dr. Maru Aregawi at WHO

Peter Burgess
Sun, Mar 25, 2007 at 8:55 PM
To: "Aregawi Weldedawit, Maru"
Cc: "Kochi, Arata" , "Cibulskis, Richard" , "Spinaci, Sergio" , "Mendis, Kamini Nirmala" , "Guillet, Pierre" , "Buj, Valentina" , "Crowell, Valerie"

Dear Dr Maru Aregawi

Thank you for very much for your very prompt message.

I was asked to become involved with IMMC (the Intgegrated Malaria Management Consortium) because of my interest in the data and management information dimension of business and the relief and development sector. My belief is that data and analysis can be a very effective driver of decisions ... and if you don't have adequate data ... then get it.

But I also believe that data should be well used ... use the data as many times as possible ... and don't reinvent the wheel. If data already exist, use them across sectors and institutions and, to the extent it serves a good purpose ... across boundaries.

I am delighted with the roll-out of your WHO database information system for malaria ... can you share with IMMC the data structures you are using for your database ... and the basic data architecture and data flows you are or will be using. The IMMC approach to data and its processing / analysis as one that is inclusive of both the data needed for science ... entomological, environmental, medical ... and the data needed for management ... disbursements (costs), activities, immediate results (values) and durable results (values). Much of what you are
aiming to do, and what IMMC aims to do is likely to be similar, and it should not be necessary to duplicate.

I have been working with the IMMC team for almost two years, and in this time I have tried to find cost / result information in the literature. What I have found has been enough to convince me that an integrated set of interventions can be implemented and result in the most cost effective program ... but the data are really not very good, and I hope we will be able to do much better in the future. We would certainly like to cooperate to help achieve this outcome.

Again thank you


Peter Burgess

It is tedious to have to work so hard to get any form of collaboration from the organizations in the relief and development sector.

Somehow, there has to be public outcry so that there is some reasonable level of responsiveness from the critical agencies charged with important global responsibilities.


Peter Burgess
The Tr-Ac-Net Organizations

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