Sonya Panjwani, United States

Sonya Panjwani has been working in public health since 2015, currently working with Integral Global as a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist. Although she has always been interested in health care, it wasn’t until several years after graduating college, when a public health professional encouraged her to get an MPH, that she focused her career on public health, which ultimately led her to completing her PHD this past year. She is particularly proud of her dissertation, which explored how the healthcare system in Colombia is designed to reach women in rural areas. Recently, she was able to present her results to Colombia’s ministry of health, which she hopes will aid in the restructuring the country plans to initiate over the next year.

What is Sonya currently working on?

Now, Sonya works with the Emergency Response Capacity Team within the Emergency Response and Recovery Branch at the CDC. As a whole, Sonya and her teamwork with national ministries of health to conduct workshops aimed at building emergency response capacity. Currently, the team is currently doing a lot of work in One Health rapid response and risk communication, a desired focus which was came out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Specifically, Sonya’s role involves incorporating monitoring and evaluation activities within these capacity building programs, which includes analyzing surveys they have conducted at workshops over the last two years, in order to communicate the team’s impact. From this work, she hopes to extract sufficient, quality data to demonstrate the effectiveness of the workshops, design a monitoring and evaluation framework for the team’s future work, and even build a simulation model to predict the impact of future programs in various settings and contexts. In addition, given that there is not a ton of existing literature on capacity building specific to emergency response, her work will potentially lead to a publication, which she hopes will emphasize the importance and success of these efforts globally.