Metrics & Measurement for Improved Care

Weak health information systems continue to hinder the provision of quality maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) care in many low-resource settings. Country and global consensus on priority maternal health indicators and reliable capture and use of such measures to improve health care utilization, quality and equity is a pressing need in maternal health.

MCSP works to strengthen health information systems — both facility- and community-based — and use of data for decision-making and learning. Quality improvement at the facility level focuses on simplified models to measure and track progress in quality of care and to link improvements to health outcomes. The Program promotes improved metrics and measurement for maternal and newborn health through three primary mechanisms:

  • Support to global efforts to refine and advocate for robust MNH indicators, tailored to system level, to promote better management and quality of services. We work closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNFPA, Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality Working Group, Every Newborn Action Plan, and other stakeholders to define priority quality MNH measures. The Program collaborates with the WHO Quality of Care Network for MNCH on the design and implementation of a monitoring framework for the WHO quality network. A first draft of the network monitoring framework, including a priority set of core indicators, was presented at the network launch meeting in Malawi in early 2017. (Information on the WHO Quality of Care Network launch is available here.)
  • Support to country national governments to prioritize robust MNH indicators and maternal mortality rate targets for incorporation into national MNH strategies and indicator dashboards.
  • Support to sub-national managers and frontline health care workers to strengthen health worker measurement capacity and collection and use of prioritized MNH indicators to routinely measure/assess essential system functions and utilization and quality of clinical care services. We promote the regular calculation, visualization and analysis of a core set of priority indicators for key phases of routine MNH care, and for maternal and newborn complications care.

The Program also supports countries to strengthen Maternal Death Surveillance & Response and Maternal and Perinatal Deaths Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) systems, emphasizing alignment of MPDSR efforts with broader MNH metrics and quality improvement efforts. We work closely with the MCSP Measurement, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MMEL) Team to strengthen local information systems, including capture of primary data in registers and patient records and manager and health worker capacity to calculate and use priority data to strengthen essential system functions and MNCH/postpartum family planning health care services.

We collaborate with the MMEL Team to pursue improvements in metrics and measurement, including the development, refinement and testing of indicators to track high-quality provision of maternal care. For example, MCSP is testing methods to incorporate routine assessment and measurement of client experience of care, respectful maternity care, and mistreatment in childbirth into comprehensive MNH programs in program-supported regions.

Maternal Child Survival Program
Maternal and Child Survival Program