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Data to policy

The Data to Policy (D2P) program, developed by Vital Strategies and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with support from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative, aims to bridge the data-policy gap in public health policy. Investments in data collection and health information systems in low and middle-income countries have greatly increased the data available to inform policymaking. But turning these data into actionable evidence requires organizational capacity for policy analysis. By strengthening capacity and systems that link data to policy, government health agencies and other organizations can make better use of evidence to improve population health, address inequities, and set priorities in line with the evolving burden of disease.

D2P guides participants through the development of data-driven policy briefs and recommendations that respond to government health priorities. The program imparts analytical skills – including root cause analysis and health and economic impact assessments – as well as techniques for communicating with stakeholders using data.

The D2P online modules were developed for use in the D2P program and are also open to the public. They are intended for government officials, policy analysts, researchers and practitioners interested in developing policy briefs on health policy topics. The modules are organized into three units. We recommend completing the modules within each unit in the indicated order, although it is not necessary to complete all three units.

For more information on the program, visit

View a video overview of the program:

For additional program resources, including tools, checklists and example policy briefs, visit


Unit 1: Problem and Policy Analysis

This unit focuses on using local data, research evidence and stakeholder/community engagement to analyze a health problem and identify possible policy solutions.

  1. Policy and Policy Briefs
  2. Literature Search and Other Data Sources
  3. Problem Framing and Root Cause Analysis
  4. Gender Analysis for Policy Development
  5. Epidemiological Measures in Policy Briefs - Foundations
  6. Epidemiological Measures in Policy Briefs - Advanced
  7. Identifying Policy Options
  8. Policy Implementation and Enforcement
  9. Stakeholder Analysis

Unit 2: Economic Evaluation of Policy

This unit covers economic evaluation methods for analyzing policy options and the use of decision tree models to estimate health impacts, costs, and cost-effectiveness.

  1. Framing an Economic Evaluation
  2. Assessing Health Impacts of Policy Options
  3. Cost Analysis
  4. Economic Evaluation Methods
  5. Sensitivity Analysis

Unit 3: Policy Advocacy and Communications

This unit focuses on the compelling presentation of findings as well as advocacy strategies for advancing policy recommendations.

  1. Effective Writing for Policy Briefs
  2. Data Visualization and Mapping
  3. Writing the Problem Statement
  4. Writing the Policy Options Section
  5. Making & Writing Recommendations
  6. Writing Key Messages and Title
  7. Advocacy Strategy and Communications