Determining whether public health policies and programs are working as they should

Determining whether public health policies and programs are working as they should

Evaluating Maternal Mortality

MEASURE Evaluation has played a paramount role in fulfilling the need for reliable information about maternal mortality in Bangladesh in order to evaluate the Bangladeshi government’s decade-long investment in maternal mortality reduction and to steer future interventions so that they have the biggest impact possible. We collaborated with the Government of Bangladesh, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (ICDDR,B) and USAID/Bangladesh to construct a sampling frame from which a nationally representative sample of 175,000 households was drawn for the Bangladesh Maternal Mortality Survey 2010, the country’s second survey of its kind; we also helped analyze and disseminate survey results, which we are continuing to use in secondary analyses to learn even more about the health of women and girls in Bangladesh. Survey results showed that maternal mortality in Bangladesh fell 40% and that births with a skilled attendant present doubled between the periods 1998-2000 and 2008-2010. The survey also revealed causes of maternal deaths. Information gleaned from the survey is valuable in appraising Bangladesh’s national maternal health strategy and in informing the direction of future interventions so that the country can reach, and eventually surpass, its maternal health targets, including the millennium development goal of reducing the maternal mortality rate to 143 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015. 

Assessing the Impact of Malaria Control Efforts 

MEASURE Evaluation has collaborated with the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) to assess the impact of malaria control efforts in sub-Saharan Africa. This assessment is especially important now, after a decade of continuously increasing funding for malaria interventions in the region. By providing technical support to PMI to evaluate these interventions in 15 different countries, MEASURE Evaluation is promoting accountability among the region’s funding recipients. The evaluations use multiple data sources to find trends in the coverage of key malaria interventions and then to compare those trends to morbidity and mortality rates of children under the age of five. Findings from Tanzania mainland show a reduction in child mortality by about 45 percent, which may be partly attributable to the escalation of malaria interventions in the country. Such encouraging results further galvanize malaria control efforts as they advance toward to the long-term goal of eliminating the disease. Data from the assessment can also guide future malaria interventions, ensuring that resources are allocated in a manner that allows them to make the biggest difference possible.

Assessing PMTCT Data in Nigeria

In May 2012, MEASURE Evaluation partnered with Nigeria’s federal government to conduct a baseline assessment of data collected by the country’s national prevention-of-mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) program. The assessment clarified the enormous challenges that exist in generating high-quality data for PMTCT service delivery in the country, enabling government officials and stakeholders to develop informed strategies to improve PMTCT data. Reliable PMTCT data are essential to HIV prevention efforts in Nigeria, where an estimated 26.5 percent of HIV-infected pregnancies led to child infections in 2011; but heretofore inferior data has yielded poor decision making about interventions. Now that the assessment has been completed, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health is on the verge of implementing a capacity-building plan to address identified weaknesses in the country’s PMTCT data quality.