Existence of a safe motherhood strategic or operational plan to promote access and/or quality of safe motherhood services

The degree of explicit support for access to and/or quality of safe motherhood programs on the part of the government and other bodies, including service delivery organizations.

Most, but not all, developing countries now have some national family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) law, policy, or strategy in place. Safe motherhood policies and plans may be separate from or included within the larger RH policies or strategic plans.


This qualitative indicator is based on the existence of a safe motherhood plan. Evaluators assign a "yes" value if a strategic or implementation plan exists. Sometimes safe motherhood strategies are incorporated into RH or maternal and child health implementation plans; thus, evaluators should assess these plans to determine if the objectives and corresponding strategies adequately address safe motherhood.

Evidence of an approved plan for safe motherhood with evidence for approval (or submission for approval). In addition, supporting documentation should include the plan, where and by whom it was issued or published, and how the plan promotes access and/or improves the quality of safe motherhood services.


Documents from the government organization designated as responsible for coordinating safe motherhood or RH. Content analysis of the plan document should determine whether the plan: (1) defines the objectives of the country's safe motherhood program; (2) defines a clear strategy for attaining these objectives; (3) establishes an organizational structure for the program which is consistent with the strategy and which covers both public and private sectors, including women's groups; and (4) estimates and projects the resources required to implement the strategy, and specifies how these resources are to be secured.


This indicator measures the degree of explicit support for access to and/or quality of safe motherhood programs on the part of the government and other bodies, including service delivery organizations. It tells us if policy is translated into a strategic or implementation plan. The purpose is to measure whether the safe motherhood or pregnancy program has developed a clear view of its mission and objectives and the strategies for attaining them.


Strategic implementation planning at the national level requires the participation of various government ministries or departments, including the health, finance, planning, information, education, interior ministries, as well as important private groups (NGOs and commercial establishments), women's groups, and religious and civic organizations.


access, policy, safe motherhood (SM), quality, health system strengthening (HSS)
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