Better Immunization Data Initiative

Improving immunization effectiveness worldwide

Project

Awareness website for global healthcare initiaitive

Industry

Non-profit, healthcare

Key Technologies

Custom mapping

Bob and his team at Metric Media were critical partners in launching our BID Initiative platform and helping us work through the many challenges that come with building a new website for an entirely new initiative. I was always so grateful at how quick and thoughtful they were in addressing all of our needs and their ability to help us think through the many details and decisions involved with building the site.

Bob and team were by our side throughout the entire process and worked hard to make sure the end product was something we were proud of. We now continue a wonderful relationship with Metric Media where we can always depend on them for any technical updates needed and in helping us ensure our site is secure and equipped with the latest features that keep us functioning.

Monica Graham Senior Advocacy & Communications Manager, PATH’s Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access

Context

PATH is an international health organization whose mission is to drive transformative innovation to help save lives worldwide. PATH received a multi-million dollar grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a new program - the Better Immunization Data (BID) Initiative - focused on improving collection, analysis and sharing of immunization data, and from that developing new practices and innovations to improve immunization effectiveness worldwide. PATH enlisted Incite to take the lead on strategy and design, and they in turn reached out to Metric Media to handle development of the BID Initiative website.

Approach

Just as the BID Initiative is a collaborative process, so too was the process of developing the website. We began with a number of meetings between PATH, Incite and Metric Media to discover the nature of the site content, how it should be organized and presented, and the audiences who would be working with it. In these meetings we identified two key needs the site must satisfy: Information—what is the BID Initiative, who is behind it, how does it work; and Collaboration—as a health professional or researcher, how can I cooperate with others in my country and in other countries to share knowledge for the benefit of all?

Satisfying the first need was simple, and WordPress the obvious solution – easy to customize, easy for PATH to manage. For the second need we considered two separate areas of functionality. The first was a repository of content, administered by PATH, containing articles, white papers, studies, reports and other material useful to any participant in the BID Initiative. The second was a forum or discussion area where participants can communicate freely about topics related to immunization, data collection, and global health matters. Initially Metric Media explored a number of established discussion systems, including some proprietary solutions targeted specifically at the global health community. But the PATH team let us in on a secret: except in rare cases with an especially dedicated participant community, proprietary discussion systems often fail to gain or maintain traction because they require that participants maintain separate logins, and remember to visit periodically. Busy health workers in Africa don't have time for that... so why not a simple email list? This turned out to be the perfect solution; we set up a custom Google Group, which allows for both email participation in dicussions and web-based viewing of discussion archives.

Results

The Initiative is a multi-year project that is just getting started, but the site already includes dozens of resources for participants, and the Google Group features multiple active discussions, with new participants joining weekly. Meanwhile PATH is enjoying the ease of management that WordPress affords, thanks in part to custom documentation we prepared that covers everything from basic content creation, editing and deletion to image preparation and file naming.