WHO Scholar Level 2 certification course on data triangulation for improved decision making in immunization programmes

Cohort 1 – Spring 2020 Level 2 Online 48 hours
English 16 March – 22 May 2020 French 30 March – 5 June 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) invites applications for the first cohort of the WHO Scholar Level 2 certification course on immunization data analysis.

This advanced course will focus on the application of data triangulation techniques to assess the programme’s data quality, measure immunization programme performance, and evaluate the risk of outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases.

Who this course is for

This interactive online course is targeted at professionals who:

  • need to better use data for decision-making in immunization programmes
  • work in Ministries of Health (MOH) or are responsible for providing technical assistance to MoH (immunization partners, universities).

Applications will be accepted until 19 January 2020.

Letters of acceptance to be sent by 15 February 2020.

Prior completion of Level 1 certification data improvement planning is highly desirable for this Level 2 course.

Successful applicants will receive a Letter of Acceptance by e-mail from WHO before 15 February 2020. Please check your Spam or Junk mail folders to ensure that messages that contain the words “DIP” are whitelisted, and that dip@learning.foundation has been added to your address book.

Schedule overview

  • Active participation is required for the entire duration on the course.
  • During the first two weeks, selected participants will participate in preparatory work to get prepared for the course work.
Dates English French
16 – 20 March 2020 Preparatory work  
23 – 27 March 2020 Preparatory work  
30 March – 3 April 2020 Week 1 Preparatory work
6 – 10 April 2020 Week 2 Preparatory work
13 – 17 April 2020 Week 3 Week 1
18 April – 3 May 2020 Term break  
4 – 8 May 2020 Week 4 Week 2
11 – 15 May 2020 Week 5 Week 3
18 – 22 May 2020 Week 6 Week 4
25 – 29 May 2020   Week 5
1 – 5 June 2020   Week 6

Weekly discussion groups                  

  • Selected participants will be required to attend a weekly one-hour discussion group.
  • The day and time for this meeting will be announced prior to the start of the course.

Webinars on hot topics

Webinars on hot topics in immunization data quality and use will:

  1. provide participants with exposure to experts and the latest guidance in different thematic areas;
  2. share field experience, insights, and advice from practitioners; and
  3. will be open to those who are not taking the course, with no upper limit to the number of attendees.

Who should apply?

The requirements for this advanced Level 2 course are that…

  • Your job requires the critical use of programme, surveillance, and other data to assess data quality, measure programme performance and/or assess and anticipate the risk of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.
  • You work in a Ministry of Health or provide technical assistance to MoH.
  • You have successfully completed the WHO Level 1 certification in data improvement planning or have equivalent experience.
  • You must have access to relevant data for the context / country or region you work in.

What you will gain?

  1. Develop the analytic skills needed to use multiple sources of data to:
    • assess the reliability of programme and surveillance data;
    • evaluate programme performance in your context; and
    • assess the risk of Vaccine Preventable Disease (VPD) outbreaks
  2. Connect with a global community committed to improving immunization through better collection and use of data.
    • Learn from your peers through both formal and informal dialogue, giving and receiving feedback.
    • Compare and share best practice with fellow practitioners and global experts
  3. Earn a WHO Scholar certificate to validate that you have practiced required data triangulation methods to improve decision making in immunization programmes .
  4. Develop your digital skills to collaborate and learn remotely.

Learning objectives

By the end of this course, you should be able to apply techniques of data triangulation in your context to:

  1. Perform a critical review of country (or sub-national) data quality.
  2. Assess the performance of the immunization programme using several sources of information.
  3. Identify geographic areas and communities at increased risk of disease outbreaks.
  4. Communicate your findings through compelling data visualizations.

What you will do

  • Work on weekly assignments.
  • Develop a project based on your own context of work.
  • Peer review projects developed by colleagues from all over the world.
  • Present your findings, analysis, and recommendations to your peers, giving and receiving feedback about your work.
  • Share your experience to deepen your comprehension of key concepts and hot topics.

Added value

  1. This advanced course is about applying more advanced methods to use high-quality data for performance measurement and risk assessments.
  2. This approach is based on guidance from WHO, CDC, and partners for data quality assessment and use through triangulation.
  3. WHO and CDC staff as well as other global experts will contribute to the course.
  4. Participants will work both in small groups (peer review) and as a community.
  5. WHO and TGLF will issue a certificate to those who successfully complete all the requirements of the course.
  6. Upon successful completion of the course, you will be invited to join your country’s Impact Accelerator, a group of Scholar Alumni who have pledged to achieve impact together.


  • Level 1 certification in data improvement planning: Prior completion of Level 1certification data improvement planning is highly desirable for this Level 2 course. You should be ready to use your Level 1 Creator project as the basis for work in the Level 2 course.
  • WHO Handbook on the use, collection, and improvement of immunization data: Participants should already be familiar with the Handbook, the key resource used in the Level 1 course.
  • Country of focus: you are expected to have knowledge about your country’s overall context (and your local context if you do not work at the central level) and its immunization programme objectives and status.
    • You will also need access to programme and surveillance data.
    • This should at least include coverage (reported, survey) and surveillance data.
    • Access to data about logistics, service availability and readiness, HR and financial data would be highly beneficial but are not required.

About the WHO Handbook on the use, collection, and improvement of immunization data

The purpose of the Handbook is to enable country-level decision-makers to:

  • Decide what data are needed for programme improvement, and use them for action.
  • Develop efficient tools and information systems to collect and analyze immunization data.
  • Assess immunization data and systems, and implement data quality improvement plans.

The Global Framework to Strengthen Immunization and Surveillance Data for Decision-making is a companion document to the Handbook.

Download the Handbook | Download the Framework


Participants should expect to:

  1. Dedicate at least 6-8 hours per week to course work.
  2. Participate remotely in the weekly, 60-minute group discussion that will take place online once a week, (Recordings of these sessions will be made available for those who are unable to attend for valid reasons.)
  3. Complete activities that have been divided into short daily tasks intended to be completed in 30 minutes.
  4. Complete practical field-based activities over longer periods of time that will require engagement with stakeholders, partners, and immunization staff.

Each set of course activities (except for field work) must be completed within a given week. Participants may schedule their work at any time during the week, except for the weekly group session which is scheduled at a fixed day and time each week. (Those unable to attend for a legitimate reason will be asked to complete a catch-up task.)

Technical requirements

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that they are able to meet the following requirements.

1. Information technology: You will need to access the course web site on a regular basis (preferably every day). Participants need to have access to a reliable Internet connection and a standards-based browser less than two years old (Firefox, Safari, or Chrome). Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge users will be asked to use a standards-based browser for the course. Mobile-only users will need to use Mobile Chrome in desktop mode when working on their course projects.

  • When working with data, the use of Excel is likely to be required, preferably from a desktop computer.
  • Specific guidance will be provided to those who have bandwidth limitations, intermittent access, or may suffer from disruption of their connection to the Internet.

2. Languages: The language of the course is either English or French. Participants are encouraged to schedule extra time if they are not fully proficient writing in the course language.


Upon successful completion of the course and following validation of your final project and assignments by the course team and subject matter expert at WHO headquarters, you will receive a certificate of completion issued by the World Health Organization and the Geneva Learning Foundation.

  • Each certificate is valid for a duration of three years.
  • Certificate holders agree to show upon request a portfolio of their work that includes the project(s) produced in Scholar.

About the WHO Scholar programme

Pedagogical approach

WHO has used the Scholar package since 2016 to support country and sub-country adaptation, application, and implementation based on WHO guidelines. The approach also draws on evidence-based action and applied learning, leadership acceleration, mentoring, and collaborative methodologies.[2] This package of interventions [3] is developed by the Geneva Learning Foundation to support effective learning for global health and humanitarian work, combines community of practice, knowledge co-construction, and peer review to support project-based learning.

What does it mean to become a WHO Scholar?

Participants in WHO Scholar courses are called “Scholars”. Those who have successfully completed at least one WHO Scholar course become Alumni, and are invited to join the WHO Scholar network. Some Alumni may choose to volunteer as WHO Scholar Accompanists, offering their support to new Scholars.

WHO Scholar Accompanists to support and guide your progress

Throughout each course, participants may receive support from WHO Scholar Accompanists (Accompagnateurs). They are working immunization professionals who have volunteered to support their peers. They know what it is like to juggle a full-time job while participating in rigorous course work. Because they have both the job and learning experience, Accompanists are key actors in the support system to help you succeed in WHO Scholar courses.

Accompanists may or may not have specific expertise in data improvement planning. Subject matter expertise will be provided by the course team. Rather, Accompanists will help you complete onboarding and orientation in Scholar. They will guide you through the learning process, help you to use the platforms, make sense of the assignments, and ensure that you know what you need to do next.

  • Course participants may request the support of an Accompanist
  • Some participants will be assigned an Accompanist if there are indications that they may need support.

Both Accompanists and Scholars will receive guidance to ensure that this exchange will be focused and productive.

Alongside the course team and the Accompanists, Scholars will also be invited to connect with each other, to learn from and support each other, but also to rekindle passion for and commitment to our work.

Connecting together as a learning community, we will support each other to strengthen our countries’ work to improve immunization.

Honor code

The WHO Scholar community is devoted to learning and the creation of knowledge. We view integrity as the basis for meaningful collaboration. We thus hold honesty – in the representation of our work and in our interactions – as the foundation of our community.

Members of the WHO Scholar community commit themselves to producing course work of integrity – that is, work that adheres to the scholarly and intellectual standards of accurate attribution of sources, appropriate collection and use of data, and transparent acknowledgement of the contribution of others to their ideas, discoveries, interpretations, and conclusions. Cheating on assignments or projects, plagiarizing or misrepresenting the ideas or language of someone else as one’s own, falsifying data, or any other instance of dishonesty violates the standards of our community, as well as the standards of the wider world of immunization.

WHO Scholar course participants are required to adhere to a strict Honor Code. Violation of the Honor Code may result in removal from the course, loss of certification (including prior WHO Scholar certificates), and notification of your employer.

Research and evaluation

WHO and TGLF will review projects developed by Scholars and may consider some of them for use in the Organization’s communication, advocacy and training effort. By enrolling in this course, you will be asked to give permission in your application.

Learners may also be invited to participate in education research by the Geneva Learning Foundation and its research partners to evaluate the efficacy of this learning initiative. Participation in this research is completely voluntary, and you may stop taking part at any time. In cases where learners do not consent, no learner data will be collected. Participation or non-participation will have no effect on assessment of your performance in the course or your present or future relationship with WHO.

About the WHO Scholar Programme

The WHO Scholar programme leverages the Scholar Approach developed by the Geneva Learning Foundation. The  Foundation  is  developing this programme for the World Health Organization, with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Gavi Alliance.

[1] Rudi Eggers, Jhilmil Bahl, Devina Ahluwalia, Bill Cope, Reda Sadki, Catherine Russ, Adam Rusch. The Scholar Approach for immunization capacity-building: Results of a pilot cohort to include GRISP transformative investments in country immunization planning. Poster session presented at the Teach to Reach Conference (2016).

[2] Fuente: Brooks, Ann and Watkins, Karen E. (eds.). (1994): The Emerging Power of Action Inquiry Technologies. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, pp. 43-55.

[3] Cope, Bill, and Mary Kalantzis. “Conceptualizing E-Learning.” Chicago: Common Ground Publishing, 2016.