HiT methodology and production process
HiTs are produced by country experts in collaboration with an external editor and the Secretariat of the Asia Pacific Observatory, based in WHO's Western Pacific Regional Office in Manila.
HiTs are based on a template that, revised periodically, provides detailed guidelines and specific questions, definitions, suggestions for data sources and examples needed to compile reviews. While the template offers a comprehensive set of questions, it can be used in a flexible way to allow authors and editors to adapt it to their particular national context.
Authors draw on multiple data sources for the compilation of HiTs, ranging from national statistics, national and regional policy documents to published literature. Data are drawn from information collected by national statistical bureaux and health ministries. Furthermore, international data sources may be incorporated, such as the World Development Indicators of the World Bank.
In addition to the information and data provided by the country experts, WHO supplies quantitative data in the form of a set of standard comparative figures for each country, drawing on the Western Pacific Country Health Information Profiles and the WHO Statistical Information System. HiT authors are encouraged to discuss the data in the text in detail, including the standard figures prepared by the Observatory staff, especially if there are concerns about discrepancies between the data available from different sources.
The quality of HiTs is of real importance since they inform policy-making and meta-analysis. HiTs are the subject of wide consultation throughout the writing and editing process, which involves multiple iterations. They are then subject to a rigorous review process:
- First full draft of the HiT is checked and reviewed by the responsible editor and Research Hub director before submission to the Observatory Secretariat.
- Depending on the quality of the HiT, the Observatory Secretariat in consultation with the Research Advisory Group can refer the HiT back to editor and drafting team for further improvements.
- The Observatory Secretariat might also send the first full draft for comments and review to two or more internal reviewers, consisting of members of the Steering Committee, or nominated by them.
- If the Research Advisory Group and Secretariat determine the quality as appropriate, the text is then sent for review to at least two external experts, and their comments and amendments are incorporated into the text, and modifications are made accordingly.
- The text is then submitted to the relevant Ministry of Health, or appropriate authority and policy-makers within those bodies for check of factual errors within the HiT.
- There are further efforts to ensure quality while the report is finalized that focus on copy-editing and proofreading.
- HiTs are launched and disseminated in hard copies, as electronic publications, and in translated versions, as appropriate.
- The editor supports the authors throughout the production process and in close consultation with the authors ensures that all stages of the process are taken forward as effectively as possible.