J-PAL 350x: Measuring Health Outcomes in Field Surveys

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Dates: September 18 – November 17, 2017


About the Course

Travel with our team to India and Kenya to see first-hand how rigorous health research is conducted in the field. This nine-week online course explores the fundamentals of field-based health research through immersive, documentary-style learning. Participants will learn how to measure individual and population health, select health indicators and measurement tools, and design surveys, as well as explore practical issues related to safety, hygiene, and ethics. The course is hosted on MITx, MIT’s edX platform, and is available to everyone free of cost.

The course will involve real world examples from on-going research studies in India and Kenya, combined with exercises to provide practical insights about study design, measurement of health outcomes and data collection, as well as the common challenges and constraints in implementing health surveys in the field. Through a series of integrated learning modules, the course will focus on topics such as:

  • Measuring individual and population health
  • Selecting health indicators,
  • Measurement tools and selection,
  • Questionnaire development, and
  • Ethical issues.

Case Studies and exercises will be drawn from research conducted by J-PAL affiliated professors.

Who Should Attend?

JPAL350x is designed for people from a variety of backgrounds including those who are new to health research as well as managers and researchers from international development organizations, foundations, governments, and non-governmental organizations around the world. Although not required, prior familiarity with basic public health and statistical concepts is recommended.


Vandana Sharma
Vandana is a public health researcher with expertise in maternal and child health, HIV, and gender issues. Her research includes randomized trials of community-based interventions to reduce maternal mortality in northern Nigeria and of interventions to reduce HIV transmission and intimate partner violence in Ethiopia. She is also conducting mixed methods research in humanitarian settings to understand gender-based violence in these contexts. She earned her MD from the University of Western Ontario and an MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she was a Sommer Scholar.

Headshot of Rachel GlennersterRachel Glennerster
Rachel Glennerster is Executive Director of the J-PAL, Scientific Director for J-PAL Africa, and Co-Chair of J-PAL's Education Sector. Her research includes randomized evaluations of education, health, microfinance, community driven development, agriculture, women's empowerment and governance in Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. She helped establish Deworm the World which now deworms over 150 million children a year. Previously she worked at Her Majesty's Treasury and the International Monetary Fund. Glennerster holds a PhD in economics from Birkbeck College, University of London.

Please contact training@povertyactionlab.org for more information.

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