What is the structure of the project, how do people work together?
The project is co-coordinated by Professor Milena Santric Milicevic in Belgrade, Serbia and Professor Kairat Davletov in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Together with the RKI team, they and their staff form the steering group. At the beginning of the project, templates for data access in the partner countries and regions were developed and discussed in online meetings in order to get better insight into the data situation of each partner. The picture was quite heterogeneous, while some are data holders for COVID-19 themselves, others had to request these data from other authorities. In addition to COVID-19 surveillance data, information on the total population and on all-cause mortality were provided in aggregated form using data templates. In individual cases, assistance was sought from WHO Country Offices. The project is supported by the WHO Data and Digital Health Division of Country Health Policies and Systems. During the first workshop 2021 in Belgrade, the partners decided to form three working groups, respectively on data, methods and publications of the project. The design of the project will be published as a study protocol.
What were the contents of the Data Labs in Berlin?
The aim of the joint calculation was first of all to calculate the indicators on the basis of data-filled templates. In July, the project was mainly dedicated to the calculation of mortality by COVID-19 (indicator Years of life lost, YLL and excess mortality), then in November to morbidity (indicator Years lived with disability, YLD). In addition to the pure calculation, sensitivity analyses, visualization examples and also the approach to stakeholders and the communication of the data were discussed.
All partners were present at both workshops, even the participation of the partners from Ukraine was possible despite the difficult conditions.
To ensure a better insight into the project and the cooperation, we asked our partners about it:
How do the next steps of the project look like?
The results of the Data Labs are currently being compiled and prepared for publication. The partners are expected to meet in Istanbul in April to conclude the project.
Date: December 2022