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Managing data is hard. 

So many of our partner institutions are under-resourced when it comes to preparing, archiving, sharing and interpreting HIV-related datasets.  Crucial datasets often sit on the laptops of local staff in Excel sheets and Word documents, or in large locked-down data warehouses where only a few have the understanding to access it. 

But data is useless if is not accessible by trusted parties for analysis.  

UNAIDS has identified the following challenges faced by our local partners:

  • Administrative burden of data management
  • Equipment failure
  • Staff turnover
  • Duplication of requests for data
  • Secure sharing of data
  • Keeping data up-to-date

A new software project has been established to tackle these challenges and streamline the data management process...

The AIDS Data Repository aims to improve the quality, accessibility and consistency of HIV data and HIV estimates by providing a centralised platform with tools to help countries manage and share their HIV data.

The project includes the following features:

  • Schema-based dataset management will help local staff with the process of preparing, validating and archiving key datasets according to the requirements from UNAIDS.  Schemas that are designed or approved by UNAIDS determine the design of web forms and validation tools that guide users through the process of uploading essential data. 
  • Secure and licensed dataset sharing will give partners confidence that their data should only be used by the parties they trust for the purposes they have agreed. 
  • Data access management tools will help organisations understand who has access to use their datasets.  Access can be requested, reviewed and granted through the site,  but also revoked. This can be done for individual users or for entire organisations. 
  • Cloud based archiving and backup of all datasets means that data will not go missing when equipment fails or staff leave.  All datasets can be tagged and searched according to their metadata and will be reliably accessible forever.
  • DHIS2 interoperability will enable administrators to share DHIS2 data with all the features and tools provided by the AIDS data repository.  Datasets comprising elements automatically pulled from a DHIS2 instance can be added to the site. Periodic pulling of data will ensure that these datasets do not fall out of date. Web-based tools will help administrators configure and monitor the DHIS2 configuration that will likely change over time. 
  • Spectrum/Naomi interoperability will streamline the process of preparing and running the Spectrum and HIVE statistical models that are supported by UNAIDS.  Web forms and validation tools guide users through the process of preparing the source data sets.  These source data sets can then be automatically pulled into the Spectrum and Naomi statistical modelling software tools, which will return the results to the AIDS Data Repository once finished.

If you would like to get involved or know more about the project, please contact the AIDS Data Repository support team: