The Tia Foundation believes strongly in sound data gathering practices. We conduct a baseline data study, surveying 25% of the households in our villages prior to project implementation. The comprehensive survey reports on health histories, hygiene habits, living conditions, diet, education, immigration, and many other factors. After a project is complete, we do follow up studies at 3 months, 6 months and then annually thereafter.
We use this data to customize our curriculum and medical kits, to constantly improve our model and methodology, and hopefully soon to share this data with other organizations and governments to use to help alleviate poverty and improve health. With the help of Eclaire, a technology NPO aimed at helping charitable organizations share data, Tia will have the ability to have a web-based portal for dissemination of our research data, while maintaining villagers’ privacy.
Surprising as it may seem, “data sharing is not yet the norm within the public health community — a situation that threatens to limit both the progress of vital research and its benefits for the public,” in the recent article “Sharing Research Data to Improve Public Health”, in the medical journal The Lancet. We agree with this article and since Tia’s inception, we have been committed to using sound data gathering practices. In fact, we realize that because we work in such remote parts of Mexico, the data we compile is rare and of great value.
Fortunately, we have an excellent partner in this effort with the Programa de Medicina en la Comunidad at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara’s School of Medicine. The faculty developed the comprehensive research methodology and the students assist Tia with the door-to-door surveys.