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Data Impact

The Data Impact Program of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative collaborates with governments to expand the use of data to enhance public health policymaking.

Many governments have a trove of health data available to them—from census to hospital records. Often these data remain unused, despite its potential to guide critical policy or investment decisions. Vital Strategies’ Data Impact program works in 18 countries on more than 60 projects, as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative. Focused on data use, the initiative collaborates with governments to expand the use of data to enhance public health policymaking.

Public health policymaking includes prioritizing health issues and identifying populations in need; allocating financial and human resources; enacting laws and regulations; and establishing programs and services.

Having a visualization of mortality data can highlight inequalities according to geographic area and suggest the localities in need of greater focus. 

Photo credit: Zoraida Ghiglino

Why It Matters

  • 70% of deaths are caused by noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), while only 30% of government health funding in low- and middle-income countries is spent on them.

Our Results

  • 4,366 ministry of health staff and others have received training on using data for public health practice.
  • 69 policy briefs have been presented to decision-makers. 

Areas of Technical Assistance

Customized to the needs of the governments with which we partner, our technical assistance focuses on three fundamental areas:


Enhancing technical staff expertise in using data to identify public health issues and design solutions. As of 2019, the program has trained nearly 4,366 people from 16 low- and middle-income countries.


Strengthening practices, structures and policies to institutionalize widespread, high-quality data use. By building robust systems to monitor public health data, governments can use insights from those data to drive action to improve people’s health and lives.


Creating clear and compelling reporting of health data to enhance understanding of critical public health issues. Public health bulletins, data reports and digital data solutions—these are the means by which governments share public health data, alert stakeholders to health threats and communicate public health priorities.

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Our Partners

Our Funders


About the Data for Health Initiative

The Initiative, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Government of Australia, is providing technical assistance to 18 low- and middle-income countries worldwide to improve public health data systems. The Data Impact Program, focusing on data use, is one of three Initiative components; the other two components focus on data collection and quality: improving civil registration and vital statistics systems and developing new tools for noncommunicable disease risk factor surveillance. Collaborating institutions in the Initiative are: Vital Strategies, CDC Foundation, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Global Health Advocacy Incubator, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the University of Melbourne, and the World Health Organization.


  1. Data for Decision Makers
  2. Data to Policy
  3. Analytics for Public Health Practice
  4. Organizational Design
  5. Institutional Data Use Policy
  6. Using Data in Public Health Reporting and Communication
  7. Data Reports
  8. Digital Data Solutions
  9. Public Health Bulletins