Publish Date: May 2019
Community-based approaches are a critical foundation for many health outcomes, including reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH). Evidence is a vital part of strengthening that foundation, but largely focuses on the technical content of what must be done, rather than on how disparate community actors continuously interpret, implement and adapt interventions in dynamic and varied community health systems. We argue that efforts to strengthen evidence for community programs must guard against the hubris of relying on a single approach or hierarchy of evidence for the range of research questions that arise when sustaining community programs at scale. Moving forward we need a broader evidence agenda that better addresses the implementation realities influencing the scale and sustainability of community programs and the partnerships underpinning them if future gains in community RMNCH are to be realised.