The US Agency for International Development (USAID) integrates US foreign policy with the financial support needs of developing countries. The agency's mission is to expand democracy and free markets while improving the lives of individuals in undeveloped and crisis-ridden parts of the world. Within USAID, the Bureau for Global Health allocates over $5 billion annually to support programs that combat infectious diseases, help prevent child and maternal deaths, and control the spread of HIV/AIDS.
USAID Global Health wanted a more effective way of aggregating and disseminating the program data it had been collecting from health systems worldwide for over 60 years, in areas such as food security, child health, and pandemic threats. Due to unique data collection challenges in each of the 80 countries it served, the bureau struggled in its mission to empower front-line workers to improve health systems and outcomes through data-driven decision making and analysis. Not enough of the data was reaching the people who needed it, and when it did, the scattered nature of how it was collected resulted in a low level of trust of the data sets. USAID Global Health needed a way to collect more data and use it to its fullest potential.
By engaging local communities, among other strategies, USAID Global Health has steadily improved its data collection practices. Using Tableau, they built the Global Health Data Analytics Hub, which enables workers throughout the agency to visualize recently collected data and use those insights for the decisions they need to make. The bureau also created the enterprise-wide Data Fellowship program, which uses data from Tableau dashboards to drive shared global health initiatives like the Joint External Evaluation (JEE). The JEE dashboard at USAID Global Health assesses and scores individual countries' capacity to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to public health risks. Using these visualizations, the Data Fellowship can recommend agency actions in coordination with other nations and groups.