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Critically examining quality-adjusted coverage measures

published 1 July 2021

Effective coverage measures aim to better estimate the true benefit of a service or intervention by adjusting service contact or intervention coverage measures for quality.

Improving coverage measurement continues to be a key area of ongoing research with the IDEAS team. Currently the team is working in collaboration with the Child Health Accountability Tracking (CHAT) Technical Advisory Group, co-convened by WHO and UNICEF and supported by USAID, on a systematic review examining how quality-adjusted measures of interventions from childbirth to children up to nine years of age have been defined and measured in practice.

The review builds on a recent paper that recommended that effective coverage be explained using health-service coverage cascades applied at the population level. The cascade outlines a series of sequential steps that the target population is anticipated to have to move through to achieve the intended health benefit. However, challenges remain in operationalising the cascade and the findings of the review are anticipated to highlight the need for greater:

(1) transparency in how effective coverage measures are reported and

(2) harmonisation of guidance and resources on best practice for how to utilise these measures.

The IDEAS team plans to use the results of the review in the next stage of our own work as we seek to examine effective coverage of facility-based childbirth in Gombe.