For the past three years, I have worked closely with MPDSR Committees in Bungoma and Nairobi, Kenya and supported inputs at national level through MPDSR and quality of care working groups. In this time, I have seen firsthand the very real need for concerted action to address the preventable deaths and the injuries mothers and babies face before, during and after childbirth.
Through this experience, I realized a change as simple as purchasing simple, low-cost suction equipment for the resuscitation of neonates can have a dramatic impact on the lives of women, babies, and communities.
The E4A-MamaYe project works with MPDSR Committees and civil society coalitions to identify the causes of deaths, discuss how available resources can be used to prevent these and advocate for change. In the last year, we discussed with members of MPDSR Committees what tools might support them to keep track of actions and hold each other accountable for implementation. Based on their views and ideas, we developed the MPDSR Action Tracker.
MORE ABOUT THE MPDSR ACTION TRACKER
The Action Tracker is a simple innovative tool for MPDSR Committees. It aims to make it easier for Committee members to analyse the root problem that caused a maternal or perinatal death, and to identify a proposed action to address it. Critically, it asks for a person to be assigned responsibility, timeframe for when the action will be completed and proposed cost. This mitigates against issues of collective action, unclear deadlines and facilitates accountability. It allows Committees to assess in future meetings whether actions have been taken, progress made, monitor whether the action was effective and agree on what further is needed.
Introduced in Bungoma in October 2020, the Action Tracker is already having an impact. My colleague Kenneth Ogweno summarises it well:
“This is a tool that has made work easier. It gives accountability and responsibility . . . making sure that activities are not just proposed but done and tracked over time with reasonable allocation of resources and timelines. With the tracker, at a glance, I am able to know and track the actions that have been actioned.”
Kenneth Ogweno, Sub County Health Records and Information Officer, Webuye West
Some of the actions that have recently emerged from the tracker include:
- Mobilizing blood donors to ensure blood availability in Webuye West Sub County
- Training of 13 new staff on EMONC in Sirisia Sub County to improve their knowledge and skills
- Strengthening dialogue between the County Health Management Team (CHMT) and Chief Officer Department of Health in Bungoma County on operationalizing the referral strategy
- Working with verbal autopsy committees on how to strengthen the process and engagement with communities.
Our hope is that this simple tool will be of use to other Committees and coalitions, who can adapt it to suit their needs. I have seen the impact the tool has had in assisting MPDSR committees at County and Sub County levels develop and successfully implement SMART actions effectively enhancing the ‘Response’ part of MPDSR and hope others can use this to do the same.
You can see the Action Tracker here.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at info@Evidence4action.net if you have any questions, suggestions or would like to collaborate.