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Sharing the knowledge – improving quality of care in Ethiopia

published 6 July 2021

2021 has been busy for the IDEAS team at EPHI who are researching the Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (QCN) in Ethiopia. QCN aims to increase utilization of health services and improve service quality through knowledge sharing, generating evidence on quality of care, and fostering accountability for maternal, neonatal and child health.

In Ethiopia, Network activities are focused in 48 learning health facilities, selected from seven regions, with the intention that positive learning is diffused to other service providers in the country.

Our QCN research aims to examine the performance and achievements of the structural Network as a knowledge sharing platform. The first of three rounds of data collection is now complete and preliminary analysis is underway.  We are looking forward to sharing early findings with our Scientific Advisory Group in Ethiopia in July, before commencing with the second round of data collection when we will dig even deeper to explore emerging themes.

Each round of data collection involves three activities.  In February 2021 we completed the first round of in-depth interviewers with policy makers and implementers at national and regional levels to understand their priorities, hear about how they think QCN is progressing, and learn about specific activities that help promote QCN aims. Then in March we completed a QCN survey that asked healthcare providers from all 48 of Ethiopia’s QCN facilities to complete a self-administered questionnaire about their engagement.  And finally, in April we completed observations in four QCN health facilities: one hospital and health centre with evidence of very strong QCN engagement and one hospital and health centre that is still catching up.  Taken together, this evidence provides a snapshot of Network function in the country and gives us a basis from which to examine developments over the coming year.  We are particularly pleased to be doing this in collaboration with Dr Tim Colbourn at UCL, and their country partners in Malawi, Uganda and Bangladesh