The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) focuses its global health efforts on delivering meaningful results in three key areas: ending preventable child and maternal deaths (EPCMD), creating an AIDS-free generation, and protecting communities from infectious diseases. Work on all of these goals contributes to EPCMD.
MEASURE Evaluation’s work on EPCMD is chiefly at the level of the national health system. Ending preventable child and maternal deaths requires improved health services, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized within a society. MEASURE Evaluation supports health systems, by helping governments collect and analyze data that reveal gaps for maternal and child survival services and supports responsiveness to those needs. We conduct evaluations of services and programs to see what is working. We advocate sound policies on maternal and newborn care to avert preventable deaths. We help countries strengthen their health information systems so that decisions are evidence-informed.
Listen to a podcast featuring MEASURE Evaluation’s Heidi Reynolds.
Data are crucial for planning and decision making and to ensure that OVC programs provide targeted support. U.S. Government (USG)-funded OVC programs collect and assess data on services delivered to individual cases over time. These data used to be collected by community health volunteers, who often relied on memory and who manually recorded OVC case data in exercise books. This process resulted in the loss of critical information and led to the production of delayed or inaccurate reports, which made it difficult to provide targeted services and assess their performance.
To address this challenge, MEASURE Evaluation PIMA (MEval-PIMA)—funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)—was tasked to support the rollout of an electronic OVC longitudinal management information system (OLMIS). OLMIS helps USG-funded OVC programs to capture, report on, and track accurate data and, subsequently, to use the data for decision making.
The USAID-funded MEASURE Evaluation project is hosting a webinar and live Q&A session on Tuesday, December 13, from 9:00-10:00am EST to present findings from a study on Gender and Participation in Prevention or Elimination of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission Programs in Malawi and Uganda under Option B+.
Option B+, an approach that initiates all pregnant or breastfeeding women on lifelong antiretroviral therapy regardless of their disease stage, has been adopted by at least 21 countries and has increased the number of HIV-positive women on treatment in sub-Saharan Africa. However, women are lost to follow-up throughout the prevention (or elimination) of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT/EMTCT) testing and treatment cascade. Efforts to improve retention in care should be based on evidence about the facilitators and barriers to participation. We studied how gender influences women’s participation in PMTCT/EMTCT programs in Malawi and Uganda through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with women in the program, women lost to follow-up, government health workers, stakeholders from organizations supporting PMTCT/EMTCT and men in the community. The study was conducted by MEASURE Evaluation in collaboration with the Centre for Social Research, Chancellor College, University of Malawi and the Centre for Child Health and Development, Makerere University, Uganda.
Presented by Valerie Flax and Jennifer Yourkavitch, the webinar describes the findings and recommendations from the study. Valerie Flax is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and serves as the team lead for MEASURE Evaluation’s PMTCT activities. Jennifer Yourkavitch is an expert consultant with ICF whose research and work focuses on understanding and addressing social determinants of health, particularly those related to breastfeeding practices, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, gender, equity and sustainability.
To promote and improve the use of geospatial data by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEFPAR) implementing partners, MEASURE Evaluation—funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and PEPFAR—convened a meeting of the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Working Group in Washington, DC, on June 23, 2016. The group has been meeting at least annually since the year 2000, giving GIS specialists and users a regular opportunity to share their experiences with spatial data and platforms, and to keep up to date on recent developments in GIS technology and its uses for global public health. Over the years, several springboard discussions from these meetings have resulted in publications and have also led to further collaborative work within the project.
This report provides a detailed account of the workshop proceedings.
This podcast features MEASURE Evaluation’s Sharon Weir.
Metrics: What counts in global health
Adams, Vincanne, editor. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016.
This volume evaluates the accomplishments, limits, and consequences of using quantitative metrics in global health. The contributors provide a set of ethnographies about the ways in which numbers and measurement are practiced in Global Health, from the estimation of maternal mortality rates in Malawi, to the tensions surrounding the Senegalese health workers strike over data retention. These case studies show how healthcare has been transformed by new forms of Global Health governance and warn against the consequences of a regimen in which data production overshadows actual healthcare provision.