Significant progress has been made in primary healthcare (PHC) to achieve better health outcomes. However, five years after the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), too many mothers and children are still dying because of preventable causes. Evidence shows that strong accountability mechanisms, where civil society is equipped to use the information for advocacy through channels that enable responsive governance, are essential to ensure quality healthcare is available to mothers and newborns.
As the Evidence for Action (E4A) - MamaYe Project Director, I’m proud to have witnessed the many ways in which Options has worked together with partners across sub-Saharan Africa to enhance evidence-informed advocacy through strong domestic coalitions. Under the E4A-MamaYe project, we support civil society groups, government, practitioners and development partners across sectors to find evidence-based solutions that bring about a transformational improvement to the lives of women and girls.
Our expertise has grown over the years and our approaches to improve health sector accountability are well-established. We now want to make these available for use more widely. How? By packaging these as ‘global public goods’ that are adaptable, easy to use and accessible.
Adaptable, easy to use and accessible: how we see Global Public Goods
There is a growing recognition that, in today’s world of increased connectivity, climate change, demographic challenges, and economic and political influence driven by nations across multiple continents, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ model of development or development cooperation.
Development solutions need to be (co-)designed and driven domestically and should be tested and adapted to meet the needs of different contexts. Recognising this, our Global Public Goods will include (but not limited to) advocacy training modules, guidelines, and tools that will be adaptable to meet specific contextual needs, enabling these to be used beyond the countries we are working in, including Francophone Africa and (in some cases) beyond maternal health and the health sector. Each of the E4A-MamaYe's Global Public Goods will include guidance on ways to adapt these to the needs of other contexts and sectors.
To make our products easy to use and do not require additional technical support from us to be applied in practice, we will ensure that these are packaged in a way that facilitates easy use and will provide instructions through written ‘how-to’ guidance or videos.
We will make our Global Public Goods accessible by making them available online in formats that are tailored to a range of target audiences and by using a language (English and French) that is easy to understand. We will inform our audiences across different countries about the availability of new tools by sharing links on our communication and social media channels, (including Twitter and LinkedIn) as well as with our regional and global networks.
Our team is very excited about the coming two years: we will share our global public goods with partners all over the world in our joint search for solutions that will drastically improve the lives of women and girls. By implementing these approaches at a wider scale through our partners – and therefore beyond our project’s scope, geographies and timeline - we aim to make a lasting impact on the lives of women and girls worldwide. We look forward to engaging with stakeholders to exchange ideas and lessons learned, and providing support where needed to achieve this vision.