Evidence for Action IJGO 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).
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:
- An introduction to E4A’s theoretical framework and activities
- Methods to collect baseline monitoring data on evidence of political will and the use of evidence
- Using scorecards to assess facility readiness for delivering emergency obstetric and newborn care in Sierra Leone
- The establishment of a country level accountability mechanism in Nigeria