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What is Triangulation?. “Short-hand term” for synthesis and integrated analysis of data from multiple sources for program decision making A powerful tool that can be used to: Demonstrate program impact and areas of improvement Direct new programs and policy changes. Why Use Triangulation?.

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what is triangulation
What is Triangulation?

“Short-hand term” for synthesis and integrated analysis of data from multiple sources for program decision making

A powerful tool that can be used to:

  • Demonstrate program impact and areas of improvement
  • Direct new programs and policy changes
why use triangulation
Why Use Triangulation?

Countries invest time and resources into collecting

data and Strategic Information (SI):

  • Patient tracking data: PMTCT & ARV program data
  • Surveillance data: ANC sentinel surveys, DHS+, incidence testing
  • Birth and deaths: Vital statistics
  • Research studies: Quantitative & qualitative


  • Too much data
  • Information goes up but rarely comes back
  • Data rarely examined side-by-side
  • Analysis of data used for program planning and improvement, and policy-makingis often overlooked
triangulation process
Triangulation Process

Planning Triangulation



Conducting Triangulation

triangulation part 1 planning1
Triangulation Part 1: Planning

Stakeholder Involvement

  • Interest from country
  • Meet with stakeholders
  • Develop In-country Working Team

Question Identification

  • Identify key questions of interest
  • Identify data sources
  • Refine research question(s)
triangulation part 2 conducting
Triangulation Part 2: Conducting

Data Collection

  • Point person to work in-country to gather data
  • Collect all data possible

Hypothesis Development

  • Make observations within data sets and across data sets
  • Note trends
  • Develop hypotheses to answer key questions

Hypothesis Checking

  • Note evidence that supports or refutes
  • Identify and gather more data, as needed
  • Choose promising hypotheses
triangulation part 3 communicating
Triangulation Part 3: Communicating

Summation of Findings

  • Develop report of methods and findings

Next Steps

  • Identify any existing data to fill gaps
  • Identify research needed to fill gaps


  • Recommend policy &/or program changes
botswana example narrowing key questions
Botswana example:Narrowing Key Questions




Key Questions

Key Questions

Final Question(s)

  • Important
  • Actionable
  • Data Available
  • Method Appropriate
  • Feasible
triangulation at igh what we do
Triangulation at IGH: What We Do

Conduct triangulation analyses

  • Generate report of findings, recommendations and next steps eg:
    • Botswana Case Study: http://www.who.int/entity/hiv/pub/casestudies/evaluation/en/index.html
    • Malawi Analysis and Case Study (under review)

Build capacity through in-country collaboration

  • Joint analyses between UCSF and in-country partners
  • Practicum-based training using country data and country analyses
  • On-going mentoring with local collaborators to assure a transfer of skills and capacity


Capacity Building ActivitiesTotal Triangulation Analysis and Training duration is four to six months
  • Initial Stakeholder meeting
      • Stakeholders introduced to methodology. Group collaboratively defines area of study and question for triangulation analysis
      • Task-Force of national technical representatives created to guide triangulation
  • Capture of Data
      • Twinning with local collaborating researcher for in-country data-collation work
  • Analysis
      • Joint analysis with local collaborating researchers (long distance, in-country, or in San Francisco depending on capacity, budget, and schedule)
      • Ongoing consultation and review by Task-Force
  • Training Workshop
      • For Task-Force members and selected technical personnel from national and provincial offices
      • Emphasis on practicum-based approach using own-country data. Participants independently recreate & refine triangulation analyses
  • Final Stakeholder Meeting
      • Presentation of findings to collaborators, informed by ideas and feedback of training workshop, jointly led by local collaborating researchers