Immunization review meetings: "Low Hanging Fruit" for capacity building and data quality improvement?

Pan Afr Med J. 2017 Jun 22;27(Suppl 3):21. doi: 10.11604/pamj.supp.2017.27.3.11516. eCollection 2017.


Introduction: Although systematic program review meetings are common practice in many health and immunization programs, there is little documentation on their implementation and role. Adult education principles espouse opportunities for peer exchange to build capacity and cross-learning, for which review meetings have been a forum utilized in immunization programs for many years. This study describes the process and use of review meetings to build immunization technical capacity in four African countries since 2011.

Methods: A longitudinal case study providing retrospective descriptive analysis and qualitative data collected on immunization program implementation and review meetings conducted within the years of 2011-2016 with district and facility health staff and technical partners from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Results: Based on summarized findings and analyses from over 200 review meetings conducted in the four countries within the time period of 2011-2016, these meetings have been shown to be effective tools for improving immunization program performance and the capacity of health staff.

Conclusion: Review meetings (ideally conducted quarterly) provide health workers with beneficial and low cost opportunities for adult learning, including building skills in data analysis and review, which can be sustained at district and health facility levels. In combination with other performance improvement approaches implemented and supported in countries (such as supportive supervision, training, and on-the-job learning and assessment), review meetings can also contribute to achievement of immunization and health outcomes.

Keywords: Review meeting; adult learning; best practices; data quality and use; lessons learned; peer exchange; peer learning; performance improvement; routine immunization program strengthening.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Africa
  • Capacity Building*
  • Data Accuracy
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / organization & administration
  • Immunization Programs / standards*
  • Immunization*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Quality Improvement
  • Retrospective Studies