Evaluations & Reviews

Improving Reproductive Health through Community-Based Services: 25 Years of Pathfinder International Experience

Over the past 25 years, Pathfinder has learned many lessons about what makes community-based programs thrive. Outlined in this report are some of the lessons learned and examples of how these programmatic concepts are integrated into our work. [from introduction]

This report discusses issues such as compensation for community health workers, building partnerships, and alternate service delivery options.

Health Care Workforce in Europe: Learning from Experience

The case studies contained in this volume provide a means of exchanging information on the challenges that countries face and the solutions that they are exploring. A companion volume by the European Observatory, Human resources for health in Europe, looked in detail at the key issues affecting the health workforce in Europe. It drew on a series of detailed case studies undertaken to assess the situation in a range of European countries. This volume brings those case studies together. [from foreword]

Improving the Management of Obstetric Emergencies in Uganda through Case Management Maps

Case management maps (CMMs) are a type of job aid: a sheet of paper with information that guides healthcare providers in treating patients. Each patient has his or her own condition-related CMM, which is maintained in the patient’s chart or on the wall near the patient’s hospital bed to inform providers of the treatment protocol, what treatment was provided when and by whom, what to do should a critical event occur, etc. This report describes a study that implemented two CMMs that were introduced about a year apart in a 500-bed hospital where such job aids had not previously been used.

Impact of Self-Assessment with Peer Feedback on Health Provider Performance in Mali

This study sought to better understand how to sustain provider compliance with standards, using local (Mali) standards (on care for fever and structural quality). The intervention had two parts: a self-assessment instrument that providers used weekly to assess their performance with a feverish client and a review of that performance by a colleague who had observed the consultation. The study found that when used regularly, such an intervention can have a significant effect on compliance.

Impact of QA Methods on Compliance with the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness Algorithm in Niger

Research on the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) shows that it is a scientifically sound way to treat sick children, but ways to ensure that it is implemented properly are lacking. This 1997-98 study examined and compared three implementation approaches: structured feedback of performance data, structured feedback of performance data where quality improvement (QI) teams were in place, and the formal World Health Organization training in districts with QI teams.

London Calling? International Recruitment of Health Workers to the Capital

London is more reliant than other parts of England on the international recruitment of health professionals. This raises several questions. How can employers support and develop such a diverse workforce? How can they retain hard-won international health care staff in the face of increasing international competition? And is it ethical to recruit workers from developing countries experiencing their own shortages? This research summary profiles the capital’s international health care workforce for the first time, with case studies detailing the experiences of three London NHS trusts.

Grow Your Own: Creating the Conditions for Sustainable Workforce Development

Since 2000, [National Health Service] NHS workforce policy has focused on increasing the size of the health care workforce. However, as financial investment in the NHS slows down, expanding capacity by simply increasing workforce numbers is no longer viable. Instead, alternative approaches are needed to develop a sustainable workforce that is flexible enough in its work practices to manage the complex changes facing the NHS. ‘Grow-your-own’ workforce approaches have the potential to address some of these challenges.

Does the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness Cost More than Routine Care? Results from the United Republic of Tanzania

The Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) strategy seeks to reduce [childhood] deaths through three main components: improving the skills of health workers, improving health systems an improving family and community practices. IMCI has been shown to be associated with improved quality of care, which should result in improved health outcomes. However, concern about the costs of implementing IMCI had been given as a reason why some countries have not adopted it on a large scale. It is important, therefore, to assess whether IMCI does, in practice, cost more than routine care for children who are less than 5 years old, and if so, by how much…Here we present results from the cost components of the MCE study in the United Republic of Tanzania.

Prospective, Multi-Method, Multi-Disciplinary, Multi-Level, Collaborative, Social-Organizational Design for Researching Health Sector Accreditation

The value of accreditation remains uncertain, and this persists as a central legitimacy problem for accreditation providers, policymakers and researchers. The question arises as to how best to research the validity, impact and value of accreditation processes in health care. [from abstract]

Improving the Use of Patient-Held Records in the Emtshezi Subdistrict

The aim of this interventional study was to assess, document and improve the Patient-held Record System in the Emtshezi Subdistrict. The study began in 1998 and was conducted using a Quality Assurance Cycle, which focuses on systems and processes and encourages a team approach to problem solving and quality improvement. [from abstract]

Rural Workers' Contribution to the Fight Against HIV/AIDS: a Framework for District and Community Action

This strategy paper takes stock of “best practice” experiences in supporting communities in their response to HIV/AIDS in several countries in Africa. It draws lessons from Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Malawi, Nigeria, and Tanzania and sheds light on methods that a growing number of organizations and individuals use to foster behavior change among people living in rural areas. The success stories presented in this paper prove that it is both possible and promising to implement HIV/AIDS programs that include several components and multiple sectors at the community level. [from forwa

Village Doctors in Different Ownership Clinics in China's Countryside

This study examines the relationship between medical practice and type of clinic ownership in HeBei province in the People’s Republic of China. The objective was to find out whether the kind of clinic ownership affects health care delivery patterns and access to health care. The study was carried out between 1995 and 2000 by a team of researchers from China, Israel and the Netherlands. [from preface]

Human Resources for Health in Tanzania: Challenges, Policy Options and Knowledge Gaps

NORAD commissioned this study in order to learn how the human resource challenge currently is being addressed in Tanzania. A second aim of the study was to identify knowledge gaps for the development of evidence-based human resource strategies in Tanzania. [from introduction]

Integrating Family Planning and HIV/AIDS Services: a Digest of Key Resources

This first issue of Focus on… presents information about the benefits and challenges of linking HIV/AIDS services and family planning and related reproductive health care. To highlight the major issues of integration (also called linkages), Focus on… summarizes key points from selected resources—most from the past 3 years—that reflect field successes, lessons learned, and further avenues for research.

Reducing AIDS-Related Stigma and Discrimination in Indian Hospitals

AIDS-related stigma and discrimination is a pervasive problem worldwide. People living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) in India, as elsewhere, face stigma and discrimination in a variety of contexts, including the household, community, workplace, and health care setting. Research in India has shown that stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive people and those perceived to be infected are common in hospitals and act as barriers to seeking and receiving critical treatment and care services (UNAIDS 2001). Recognizing the need to move beyond documentation of the problem, three New Delhi hospitals; SHARAN, an Indian NGO; and the Horizons Program, with support from the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), carried out an operations research project to develop and test responses to hospital-based stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.

Integrating Pediatric Palliative Care into Home-Based Care: an Evaluation of 3 Home-Based Care Projects

In order to identify potentially effective models of home-based care (HBC) within which paediatric palliative care could be integrated, and to identify critical aspects requiring strengthening, the NMCF commissioned an in-depth evaluation of three NGOs that have been supported through the Goelama Program. The objectives of the evaluation were: to evaluate the current capacity of the three HBC projects to provide paediatric palliative care as a component of overall HBC - this focused on the overall management of the projects, as well as the competencies of carers to provide both general HBC and palliative care to children; To explore the possibilities for strengthening the provision of paediatric palliative care as an integrated component of HBC; and to explore the role of home-based carers and HBC projects in the provision of ART to children. [author’s description]

Mapping of HIV and AIDS Services and Resources in South Africa

The primary objective of the study was to identify organisations/institutions that provide HIV and AIDS services at the sub-district level, the range of services they provide and their funding sources. This in turn will inform sub-district and district management teams of the progress and impact of services provided and furnish them with tools to monitor the performance and activities on NGOs in their sub-districts and districts. It is hoped that the report will serve as a baseline for ongoing monitoring of the country’s response to the epidemic. Data was collected through self-administered questionnaires, staff interviews and record reviews.

Visiting Supervisor Model: What is the Evidence?

This presentation is from a Capacity Project sponsored interactive workshop to consider fresh perspectives on supportive supervision, exploring alternative approaches to the standard visiting-supervisor model from within and outside the international health care sector.

Acceptability and Feasibility of Introducing the WHO Focused Antenatal Care Package in Ghana

The Government of Ghana has adopted the WHO focused antenatal care (ANC) package in a move to improve access, quality and continuity of ANC services to pregnant women. As part of these efforts, the Government has exempted fees for ANC clients. The main objective of this study, undertaken by Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), FRONTIERS, and with USAID funding, was to examine the extent to which adaptation of the package influenced quality of care received by pregnant women and its acceptability to both providers and clients. The study used a policy analysis and a situation analysis in ten intervention clinics in which the package had been introduced and four comparison clinics.

Acceptability and Sustainability of the WHO Focused Antenatal Care package in Kenya

To promote the health and survival of mothers and babies, Kenya has adapted the WHO goal-oriented Antenatal Care (ANC) package, popularly known as focused ANC (FANC). The Ministry of Health (MOH) has designed new guidelines for ANC services, placing emphasis on refocusing antenatal care, birth planning and emergency preparedness, and the identification, prevention and management of life threatening complications during pregnancy and childbirth. ANC visits are now used as an entry point for a range of other services, thus promoting comprehensive integrated service delivery. A major challenge, however, is whether the Kenyan health care system can cope with the implementation of this package.

From State to Market: the Nicaraguan Labour Market for Health Personnel

Few countries in Latin America have experienced in such a short period the shift from a socialist government and centrally planned economy to a liberal market economy as Nicaragua. The impact of such a change in the health field has been supported by the quest for reform of the health system and the involvement of external financial agencies aimed at leading the process. However, this change has not been reflected in the planning of human resources for health.

Assessing the Functionality of Job Aids in Supporting the Performance of IMCI Providers in Zambia

The Quality Assurance Project investigated how job aids could increase compliance with guidelines for the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) in cooperation with the Zambia Central Board of Health beginning in 1999. One of the first countries to introduce IMCI, Zambia had a large number of IMCI-trained providers, and several IMCI job aids were already in use: a chartbook, recording form, poster, and mother card.

Quality Assurance of Health Care in Developing Countries

This monograph provides an introductory overview of QA for developing countries. It will be of interest to policy makers, upper-level ministry of health (MOH) officials, and district-level health service managers. Part I describes how quality assessment and improvement have been carried out in less developed countries (LDCs). Part II discusses the feasibility and rationale for applying QA in the developing world. Part III proposes some definitions and dimensions of quality. Part IV reviews the definition and basic tenets of QA.

Sustaining Quality of Healthcare: Institutionalization of Quality Assurance

This monograph presents a conceptual framework to help healthcare systems and organizations analyze, plan, build and sustain efforts to produce quality healthcare. The framework synthesizes more than ten years of QA Project experience assisting in the design and implementation of QA activities and programs in over 25 countries. [author’s description]

Team Players: Building the Skills of Local Health Care Planners

Training and innovative tools were key to the success of the Tanzania Essential Health Interventions Project, along with small funding increases. The tools and strategies allowed the districts of Rufiji and Morogoro to target their new resources on the largest contributors to the burden of disease and on health care delivery. The most dramatic result, among many, has been an average decline in child mortality of more than 40%. [from author]

Control of Tuberculosis in an Urban Setting in Nepal: Public-Private Partnership

The objective of this document is to implement and evaluate a public–private partnership to deliver the internationally recommended strategy DOTS for the control of tuberculosis (TB) in Lalitpur municipality, Nepal, where it is estimated that 50% of patients with TB are managed in the private sector. [author’s description]

Knowledge and Skills Gap of Medical Practitioners Delivering District Hospital Services in the Western Cape, South Africa

Health service managers in the Western Cape requested a skills audit of medical officers in district hospitals to identify a possible gap in competencies that may impact on service delivery. The aim of this study was thus to identify the knowledge and skills of medical practitioners delivering these services in the Western Cape and to compare them with service needs in order to make recommendations for education and training. This article reports on the results of the knowledge and skills gap analysis, while the results of the district hospital performance data and in-depth interviews are reported elsewhere.

Technical Review of Health Service Delivery at District Level

The 2003 technical review report covers only one main strategy: district health services. It looks at district health service performance from the viewpoint of Council Health Management Teams (CHMT) and LG. The report presents a short general appraisal of district health services (section 1). Planning and budgeting for better health (section 2) looks at what the requirements are for a performing planning and budgeting process (section 2.1, including guidelines and process) and what information should be available at council level to develop a comprehensive council health plan (section 2.2). Issues related to implementing the council health plan (section 3) include financial resources (3.1), non-financial resources (3.2), systems development (3.3) and service delivery (3.4).

Integrating Vertical Health Programmes into Sector Wide Approaches: Experiences and Lessons

This paper is a desk study which looks at experiences of integrating vertical health programmes into national delivery systems where government and donors have adopted a sector wide approach (SWAp) to supporting health sector reform. It was commissioned to facilitate decision making in SDC regarding future possible integration of the Tanzania Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programme into national delivery systems and the SWAp process.[author’s description]

Tanzania Joint Health Technical Review 2002: HMIS Sub-Group Final Report

This report reviews the implementation of a Health Management Information System (HMIS) in Tanzania to determine its success, identify issues and constraints, asses key issues, and identify additional capacity requirements.