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The Data for Health Initiative at Johns Hopkins Receives New Funds from Bloomberg Philanthropies to Create a Gender Equity Unit and Leadership Training Program


Bloomberg Philanthropies granted researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health an award of $3.3 million to expand their current scope of work within the Data for Health (D4H) Initiative. The new work includes the creation of a Gender Equity Unit, development of training materials to build capacity to collect high-quality health data in low- and middle-income countries, and the construction of an online repository of D4H resources. D4H is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and housed within the Department of International Health at the Bloomberg School.

The Johns Hopkins team of the D4H Initiative, led by Dustin Gibson, PhD ’15, MS, assistant scientist in the Department of International Health, conducts research to inform the design and delivery of mobile phone surveys to gather data on noncommunicable diseases in LMIC settings. The new funding will allow for a greater focus on gender inequities in health data by improving the collection, use, and dissemination of sex and gender data in over 40 LMICs. Michelle Kaufman, PhD, MA, associate professor in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Bloomberg School, will lead the Gender Equity Unit.

The Gender Equity Unit aims to

  • Serve as a knowledge center and resource hub for all partners and countries in the D4H Initiative to integrate gender equity in their work
  • Provide capacity-building activities focused on gender equity for partner liaisons and key country players
  • Conduct research studies to demonstrate the importance of, barriers to, and strategies for advancing gender equity in global public health through data systems

Research activities within the Gender Equity Unit will include developing a gender equity website; tracking country progress towards key indicators using a gender equity data landscape; and building country partner capacity to integrate gender equity work through training sessions, webinars, a mentorship program, and technical assistance on data collection and policy application.

The Data for Health Initiative aims to improve the collection of health data in low- and middle-income countries. The Johns Hopkins team collaborates with NCD and Epidemiology experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC Foundation, the World Health Organization, and partners in Bangladesh, Colombia, Tanzania and Uganda.