Part 4: Data management
Data collection and entry
Data should be collected by staff from a variety of sources (e.g., client record reviews, recruiter interviews, network associate interviews, HIV CTR sessions, and program staff interviews) using logs, data collection forms, and other methods. Some data should be collected in an aggregate format, and other data will be collected at the individual level, depending on the intended purpose.
Data may be collected on paper forms, and then entered into databases, or may be entered directly into databases using desktop or handheld computers. In some instances, data may be collected using audio-computer assisted self interview (A-CASI). Validity checks will be incorporated into data entry processes, and procedures for data cleaning will be developed, to optimize data quality. Data collection and entry systems will be designed to use alpha-numeric identification schemes that will protect the confidentiality of clients, but also allow files to be updated.
Agencies should develop and maintain procedures to protect all client-related data collected for monitoring and evaluation purposes. These procedures must comply with the information security requirements included in the contract solicitation. In addition, the procedures should include the following:
- Data collected should be limited to that necessary for program monitoring and evaluation.
- Personal identifiers should be included with such data only as necessary for program operations, monitoring, and evaluation. Alpha-numeric identification schemes should be used whenever possible. Personal identifiers should be removed from data prior to transmission.
- Hardcopy data should be kept in locked file cabinets in locked offices.
- Electronic data should be password-protected. Computers containing, or with access to, such data will be kept in locked offices and will be accessible only to authorized program staff.
- Data should be recorded and reported in accordance with existing guidelines and regulations.
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