Evidence for Action IJGO Series

Quality of care
Sub-Saharan Africa
2014
This special series focuses on the Evidence for Action (E4A) programme. The editorial outlines the context in which E4A works, describes its distinctive approach combining evidence, advocacy, and accountability, and introduces the other articles in the series.

The International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics (IJGO) has published a series of articles on the Evidence for Action (E4A) programme and its maternal and newborn survival campaign MamaYe.

E4A is a five-year program (2012-2016) funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development. It aims to improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes in six African countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania).

Background

Despite significant progress over the last 25 years, Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 – those relating to child and maternal health – are unlikely to be achieved. The outlook is particularly challenging for Sub-Saharan Africa; while only 13% of the global population lives in this region, over half (62%) of maternal deaths and more than one in four (28%) newborn deaths occur here.

The paper traces this to slow progress in quality of care as well as a lack of political will, commitment, and government accountability for maternal and neonatal health.

How is E4A different?

The ‘markedly different’ approach that distinguishes E4A from previous development programs funded by the UK Government is introduced in the paper.

E4A aims to use a strategic combination of evidence-based accountability and advocacy to motivate the necessary changes in political will and priority. In turn, improved availability and access to the necessary health services will help to improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes.

The E4A series in IJGO

A selected set of articles on E4A will be featured twice yearly in IJGO over the next two years. These will highlight examples of how evidence has been used to increase quality of care via advocacy and accountability mechanisms. Contributors will come from E4A teams and country offices, as well as other collaborating organisations.

Articles in the current issue of IJGO include:

Fortney, J. A. (2014). Looking beyond the Millennium Development Goal deadline for women and newborns: evidence is needed for action on implementation of quality care. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 127(1): 94-94.
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