Workshop: Strengthening evidence use for action and accountability in women’s, children’s and adolescent’s health

10 September 2019 ¦ Nairobi, Kenya

Photo courtesy of APRC

More than 40 researchers, policy makers, parliamentarians and civil society representatives from 11 countries came together in Nairobi to discuss inequities in women’s, children’s and adolescent’s health interventions and how these can be reduced. The specific objectives of the meeting were to:

  • Share and discuss the findings of the regional and country RMNCAH+N inequality analyses of the Countdown/APHRC/WHO/UNICEF initiative in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Assess and discuss the current place of equity for RMCNAH+N in country strategies and plans and monitoring and reviews.
  • Agree on how evidence on RMNCAH+N inequalities can be better incorporated in strategic plans, situation analyses and monitoring efforts, including accountability mechanisms.

The workshop presented findings of inequity studies conducted by country institutions, in Sub-Saharan African countries. Some of the findings included:

  • Women in rural areas face extensive differences in access and coverage of maternal and child health services (such as antenatal) compared to those living in urban areas.
  • Gaps are wider for interventions that require access to fixed health facilities or repeat contacts with a health provider than for interventions that can be delivered through outreach strategies at the community level.
  • Among urban populations, there are differences in the provision of maternal and child health services among the wealthy and poor people living in informal settlements.

Conversation among workshop participants demonstrated that while evidence exists, key stakeholders that need information for advocacy and use in policy development and monitoring do not have access to the right kind of information at the right time.

Best practices from countries were shared including around the use of equity evidence, including the existence of parliamentary committees and working groups on women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health that drive inquiries and progress; civil society advocacy and accountability – sometimes based on citizen generated data; and government structures such as Uganda’s Equal Opportunity Commission which provides certificates for equity performance which can affect budget disbursement .

Best practices from countries were shared including around the use of equity evidence, including the existence of parliamentary committees and working groups on women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health that drive inquiries and progress; civil society advocacy and accoountability – sometimes based on citizen generated data; and government structures such as Uganda’s Equal Opportunity Commission which provides certificates for equity performance which can affect budget disbursement .