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Understanding quality improvement

Quality Improvement (QI) is the term used for a group of methods that adopts a problem-solving approach to improve health worker performance through review of service delivery processes, planning for improvement and acting upon those plans.

QI is a part of several Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s investments in low-income settings, including in Nigeria, Ethiopia and India. But little is yet known about how QI works through, for example, leadership, quality of teamwork, supportive supervision or organisational culture.

In Lagos, Nigeria our research aims to understand the way in which quality improvement in the public and private sectors is influenced by health system context.

In Ethiopia, IDEAS uses novel qualitative and quantitative methods to understand how QI approaches can influence health worker behaviours to improve care and how they affect both the delivery and the utilisation of services by patients. We also partner with the UCL Institute for Global Health on a multi-country project designed to understand how the Quality of Care Network operates at country level. Working with the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), IDEAS applies a country case study approach to study the national and local level experience of the network to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes in Ethiopia.

Published content

Journal article
“Everything is from God but it is always better to get to the hospital on time”

Zelee Hill and her co-authors aimed to identify facilitators and barriers for women to deliver their babies in health facilities in Gombe State,...

Journal article
What influences women’s choice of place of delivery?

The study published in BMJ Global Health and authored by Nasir Umar and others is based on a discrete choice experiment following a comprehensive...

Journal article
Major gaps in child survival by ethnic group

At the global level, major inequalities are clear and persistent, write Schellenberg and Berhanu, inequalities by wealth, geographical location,...

Blog Post
“I felt like I should have delivered at home”

The Northeast of Nigeria has some of the highest rates of maternal and newborn deaths in the world. Drastically reducing this number of...