Local Employees Vital To Data Collection Efforts Should Be Recognized, Adequately Compensated

Devex: Opinion: The hustle for data: Side gigs that change science, policies, and lives
Lauren Carruth, medical anthropologist

“…As the World Health Organization celebrates the Sixth Annual World Health Worker Week this month, we must also advocate for improvements to the working conditions, legal protections, and compensation packages for the legions of informal and temporary workers that make research and data collection possible for global organizations, including the WHO. Around the world, opportunities to help with data collection offer a relatively lucrative side gig for many people … Local staffers — who are often themselves aid beneficiaries and residents of impoverished and crisis-affected communities — are vital to the implementation of health and humanitarian aid programs and policies, as well as to the needs assessments, demographic and health surveys, food security studies, clinical research, randomized control trials, famine early warning systems, disease surveillance systems, donor appeals, and monitoring and evaluation protocols that inform these programs and policies. … Their knowledge and expertise make these projects happen. It is time that they were recognized, compensated adequately, and fully integrated into professional aid and research industries” (4/12).