IDEAS is testing the theory of change for improving maternal and newborn health put forward by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This is the basis of the foundation’s maternal and newborn funding strategy. IDEAS aims to test the theory by answering four questions. Evidence from IDEAS will inform future investments, policy decisions and strategic plans.
What has the foundation funded based on the theory of change?
IDEAS is collaborating with implementation projects funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve maternal and newborn health in Ethiopia, North-Eastern Nigeria and Uttar Pradesh, India. These projects deliver innovations that support local health systems, particularly through improving the interactions between families and frontline workers. They aim to improve access, use and provision of care for women and their babies during pregnancy, childbirth and the month after birth.
Theory of change and IDEAS learning questions
The purple boxes show the four learning questions IDEAS is asking to test the theory of change.
Legend: This diagram shows the theory of change for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation maternal and newborn strategy. Innovations enhance the interactions between families and frontline workers. This enables more mothers and babies to access life-saving interventions (increased coverage) leading to improved maternal and newborn survival. Over time, effective innovations are scaled-up from the areas in which they were introduced to the whole state or country and beyond, and benefit more mothers and newborns. The questions IDEAS is asking to test the theory of change are:
- What are the innovations?
- Do innovations enhance interactions and increase life-saving intervention coverage?
- How and why does scale-up happen?
- To what extent do scaled-up innovations affect coverage of life-saving interventions and survival?