Nasrat Ansari/Jhpiego

Measurement, Monitoring and Evaluation and Action-Oriented Learning

MCSP provides global leadership and country support to advance the measurement and collection of key reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) information that can be used to improve health outcomes.

At the country level, the Program’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities support governments in their use of improved metrics and methodologies to effectively collect data for assessing the coverage, quality and equity of RMNCH interventions. At the global level, MCSP collaborates with the World Health Organization and other international bodies to develop improved RMNCH indicators, data collection tools, and M&E guidelines that contribute to improved tracking of intervention quality and health outcomes both globally and nationally.

The Program has developed a large learning agenda that contributes to the global evidence base on effective approaches for improving RMNCH health outcomes. Our seven priority learning themes are:

  1. Achieving sustainable impact at scale;
  2. Quality;
  3. Equity, including gender equity;
  4. Health systems strengthening, including private sector;
  5. Community action for health;
  6. Innovations to address key gaps in coverage, quality, or equity; and
  7. Measurement and data use for action and accountability.

Learning activities are designed to be “action oriented” and follow the strategy of focusing on “short loop” and practical learning aimed at improving implementation practices to drive high coverage, quality and equity for high-impact interventions. MCSP also works intensively to study and support implementation processes for scale-up of more than 30 high-priority, high-impact interventions and introduction of promising innovations.

To download MCSP’s measurement, monitoring and evaluation and action-oriented learning fact sheet, click here.

Key Results

  • MCSP works to improve global metrics and measurement approaches as a leading member of several global working groups. These include the Every Newborn Action Plan and Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality metrics working groups, for which the Program contributed to the design of a multi-country study of new maternal newborn health (MNH)  indicators for national management health information systems (HMIS) and the development of a core set of maternal health indicators for global tracking. MCSP also contributed to developing the workplan for two working groups of the Health Data Collaborative, which seeks to increase country capacity to measure progress toward national targets for the Sustainable Development Goals. MCSP leads the Community Case Management (CCM) Taskforce and supported the M&E sub-group’s identification of 10 key indicators to monitor implementation of CCM.
  • MCSP provides resources, tools and support for improved data collection, data quality, and data use at the national and sub-national levels. In several sub-Saharan African countries — Rwanda, Nigeria, Madagascar, Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania — MCSP increased the use of routine RMNCH data for decision-making in low-resource settings. The Program also developed a comprehensive Routine RMNCH Data Visualization and Use Resource Package for health facility providers and district-level supervisors. To improve household survey data collection for the knowledge, practices and coverage survey, MCSP created updated modules and user-friendly e-health versions of tools for smartphones and tablets that enable data quality control checks and streamlined, real-time tracking of data collection.
  • The Program supports the review and feasibility testing of routine service delivery and outcome indicators to improve the content of national HMIS. In Nigeria, Madagascar, Tanzania and DR Congo, MCSP has incorporated RMNCH indicator feasibility testing plans into ongoing program implementation. In Tanzania, the Program initiated the Facility Perinatal Mortality indicator testing study to assess feasibility and validity of a new combined measure of neonatal deaths and fresh stillbirths, which can potentially serve as a sentinel measure of the quality of intrapartum care. MCSP has also completed a preliminary review of the MNH-related data elements in the national HMIS of 24 of USAID’s 25 priority countries (excluding Yemen), reviewing such forms as client cards, registers and monthly reports. The Program is also conducting a related review for child health and nutrition across 27 countries.
  • MCSP has made substantial progress on implementation of its action-oriented learning agenda. Midway through the Program, approximately 20% of learning activities have completed data collection and begun data analysis and/or dissemination of results. The Program contributes emerging lessons from its global learning efforts and those of other organizations to develop new action-oriented approaches that help countries successfully implement and scale up health programming. For example, MCSP conducted implementation research in Tanzania that found that the use of a microplanning tool significantly improved the quality and comprehensiveness of reported funding needs in district health planning, which has prompted the Ministry of Health to use the tool in other areas of the country.
  • MCSP’s scale-up learning activities include leadership and partnership development, streamlined assessments for scale-up readiness, “light-touch” scale monitoring, and strategic and operational planning specifically for scale-up. Along these lines, the Program worked with the USAID Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact to create a country-level planning guide — entitled “Ready, Set, Launch”— for scaling up product-focused interventions. MCSP also collaborated on a position paper and technical working group meeting in 2016 to engage global stakeholders in sharing scale-up results and developing consensus on how to improve scale-up practice.