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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

Blog Post
A new partnership with the University of Lagos

The prototype phase of NHQI was implemented in Lagos between April 2015 and September 2017. To institutionalise gains from the prototype phase,...

Blog Post
Investigating the high rates of C-sections in private hospitals in Delhi, India

Rates of C-sections in India are relatively low overall at around 17% (IIPS, 2016),  but the story is different in the private sector.  Research...

Journal article
Why are C-section rates in private Indian health facilities unreasonably high? The providers’ view

Although the overall rate of caesarean deliveries in India remains low, rates are higher in private than in public facilities. In a household...

Journal article
Early postnatal home visits: a qualitative study of barriers and facilitators to achieving high coverage

A paper co-authored by Yared Amare, Pauline Scheelbeek and IDEAS team members Zelee Hill, Joanna Schellenberg, and Della Berhanu and published in...