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Ethiopia

IDEAS works in four of Ethiopia’s nine regions - Amhara, Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples and Tigray - to provide a rich source of data for funders, governments and non-governmental organisations working in maternal and newborn health in Ethiopia.

Working with our measurement, learning and evaluation partners and using multidisciplinary research methods, our findings on what works, why and how aims to close the gap in implementation research on how to get life-saving interventions to families at scale.

In Ethiopia, the IDEAS project works across a range of research areas.

Tracking progress

Focus on a core set of priority interventions is key to tracking progress in maternal and newborn health. Together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, IDEAS worked on developing a maternal and newborn health dashboard. This dashboard aimed to track population level coverage indicators for contacts with health services and for life saving interventions, together with facility level indicators of service readiness to provide life saving care.

Supporting local decision-making

To enhance the capacity of health systems, quality data needs to be generated and used at the local level for timely course correction, improved health outcomes and the long-term sustainability of health initiatives. Following an Ethiopian feasibility study in 2012 and the experiences of a prototype phase in the state of West Bengal State in India, we are adopting an action-research approach to adapt, implement and evaluate the Data-Informed Platform for Health for the Ethiopian context.

Improving coverage measurement

We aim to improve measurement of priority indicators for maternal and newborn health by testing the coverage estimates derived from multiple sources.

Understanding quality improvement

Building on our previous work to understand behaviour change at household level in Ethiopia, IDEAS is using novel qualitative and quantitative approaches to understand health worker behaviours that drive quality improvement in the provision and utilisation of maternal and newborn health services.

One initiative supporting understanding quality improvement is the Quality of Care Network research (QCN). IDEAS is collaborating with a multi-country research project titled: “How does a multi-country, multilateral network focused on specific health care improvements evolve and what shapes its ability to achieve its goals?” (‘QCN project’).  The parent project is led by the UCL Institute for Global Health. Working with the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), IDEAS will focus on the experience of Ethiopia as part of this larger body of research.

Fostering innovation sustainability

IDEAS carries out qualitative studies to assess what happens in the long term to donor-funded maternal and newborn health innovations that are scaled-up. This work responds to the foundation’s commitment to seeing health investments scaled-up and sustained and will generate important new knowledge on how donors can foster the sustainability of health programmes in low-income settings.  Building on established strong partnerships the project is embedded in local institutions and actively seeks opportunities to build capacity for government institutions and their staff in sustainability.

Community-Based Newborn Care

Community-Based Newborn Care (CBNC) is an Ethiopian national initiative launched in 2013. It brings life-saving care to mothers and newborns at the community level within the Ethiopian health system. IDEAS has been collaborating with the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health and JaRco Consulting to evaluate the CBNC programme through a series of quantitative surveys and qualitative assessments over five years.

 

Published content

Journal article
Has Ethiopia been successful in increasing health care utilisation for children?

Despite a range of programmes and initiatives introduced in Ethiopia since 2003 care-seeking for sick under-five children has remained low. The...

Journal article
Understanding what didn’t work: a mixed method process evaluation

The ‘Optimising the Health Extension Program’ was implemented between 2016 and 2018 in four regions of Ethiopia. It included community...

Research brief
Improving the quality of routine Health Information System data for better decision-making

The ORCA team analysed existing information from the HMIS and compared this with external sources of information, such as the Demographic and...

Journal article
Professional advice for primary healthcare workers in Ethiopia: a social network analysis

This study, authored by Kate Sabot et al and published in BMC Health Services Research, compares professional advice networks of healthcare...

Journal article
Evaluating efforts to increase primary child health services in Ethiopia

This protocol, authored by Della Berhanu and others, published in BMC Health Services, describes an evaluation of a complex intervention that aims...

News
In memory of Deepthi Wickremasinghe

Deepthi was a Research Fellow, specialising in qualitative research, systematic literature reviews and information and knowledge...