WASH staff should access and interpret data on key disease trends, whether collected directly from affected communities, through co-ordination activities and/or from medical professionals. This epidemiological data should be used to guide WASH activities.
WASH programmes cannot be planned or monitored without a clear understanding of the health of the affected community.
Oxfam WASH programmes should use the following sources to gather and analyse health data:
- Community-level monitoring – collection of data on health trends during regular programme monitoring is straightforward and can be done through focus group discussions, household surveys etc.
- Clinics – WASH staff should establish contacts with local Ministry of Health (MoH) and/or NGO staff working in local clinics (including mobile clinics, cholera treatment centres etc.) to facilitate sharing of health data.
- National health data – official health data is usually available on a weekly basis from the MoH/WHO/Health Cluster and can be useful for monitoring general trends and for citing in donor reports or proposals. Note that this data can be unreliable, or issued at too large a geographic scale for useful analysis.
- Co-ordination activities – basic updates on health trends can be obtained through WASH Cluster meetings and other general humanitarian co-ordination (e.g. OCHA meetings, sitreps).
Health data should be disaggregated by sex and age, and collected at a sufficiently detailed geographic scale to allow for analysis within Oxfam WASH programmes.