WHO, UNICEF commence immunization data collection process
World Health Organization (WHO) in partnership with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced the commencement of the immunization data collection process. According to the announcement the health organization made on its website, the electronic Joint Reporting Form on Immunization (eJRF), has been open for completion since March 1st and it covers reporting data for 2022.
The eJRF is an online data collection portal, open to all Member States, Reporting Entities, and Associate Members for the collection of immunization performance data.
WHO and UNICEF have since 1997 jointly collected information on immunization programmes and vaccine-preventable diseases. Data is gathered annually to support important global and regional monitoring and planning functions, and track progress towards global and regional indicators.
However, in 2020, WHO Member States endorsed the Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030), where eJRF data is used to report on the monitoring and evaluation framework that guides immunization strategies at global and regional levels. Countries enter immunization data through the application directly into a secure, centralized database, facilitating its validation and management.
Although, collecting data is an intense process, reporting data has become easier and faster as a result of the eJRF tool. Each year, the tool´s features are improved based on the suggestions and feedback received, enhancing the user experience in each step of the reporting process.
The eJRF tool provides easy navigation and collaborative environment for multiple users; ability to load and pre-populate historical data, when possible; dynamic questions based on our answers; automatic calculations, when possible. It also provides real-time validation checks; ability to make comments and receive feedback; secure collection and transmission of data and monitor the review process.
Despite the robust embedded training and support, demo-sessions are organized each year to train new and advanced users. This is an invaluable opportunity to explain the end-to-end process and concepts and reinforce the connection and collaborative dynamic between HQ, regions and countries.
Several actions were taken to explain the digital tool to the target audience, including sessions to provide clear and concise instructions on how to use the tool, supported with visual aids, such as guides and videos, to help explain its features and functions, and provide examples of how the tool can be used to help users understand its practical applications. Additionally, a robust support model was set in place in case users had questions or needed assistance.
The organization and preparation involved teams from WHO-UNICEF-PAHO, Headquarters (HQ) and Regional Offices (RO) and the collaborative environment was essential to make these activities a success. The Health organization on it’s website disclosed that more than 500 users, across almost all WHO Regions, participated in the online trainings at the end of February and March. Sessions were offered in 5 languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Russian. To ensure effectiveness, the sessions facilitated a safe space to practice and gave room for Questions and Answers (Q&A).
Because of the eJRF, the user experience has significantly improved, with faster and more secure data transmission, resulting in more accurate immunization data for everyone. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2022, 97% of the WHO Member States submitted their immunization programme performance data through the eJRF portal.
This year, the organization declared that efforts and attention will be focused on encouraging reporting countries to participate, aiming to obtain 100% of submissions, improving response times and supporting them all the way, towards ensuring timely receipt of reports.