Independent Evaluation of the Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in Kenya

2016 – 2018; Kenya; Unicef & DFID

Kenya has one of the highest rates of maternal deaths in the world, at 488 per 100,000 live births, and progress has been slow in the last decade. Although deaths in young children have declined, newborn deaths have not. High death rates are due to poor access to quality delivery and emergency obstetric and neonatal care and low use of available services.

The Programme to Reduce Maternal and Neonatal Deaths in Kenya (MNH Programme) is financed by DFID with a budget of £75.3 million over five years (2013-2018). It supports a range of interventions to improve maternal and neonatal health (MNH) in different but overlapping geographic locations in Kenya, including training of health workers, health systems strengthening, community mobilisation, and demand-side financing. The programme is implemented by UNICEF, Options and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), and a number of community based organisations.

Itad is a member of the Hera-led consortium delivering the evaluation of the MNH Programme over a period of three years (2016-2018). Our evaluation methodology responds to the complexity of the MNH Programme, given that it is being implemented by three partners, with differing initiation dates, in differing social, cultural, economic and demographic environments, and with distinct mixes of types and intensity of interventions. We are using the complexity of this implementation profile to conduct comparative studies in order to test assumptions and causal links of the ToC framework.

This evaluation comprises a number of data collection methods, including a qualitative analysis of sub-counties in distinct sub counties of Kenya (nomadic, pastoralist and urban), a household survey to measure changing social norms, an annual mapping of monitoring data and a number of special studies designed to understand the effect of advocacy and policy work.

Image © Naomi. Photo Credit: Maureen Didde