Although UNICEF and other partners have invested heavily in efforts to track coverage levels for effective maternal, newborn and child (MNC) survival and nutrition interventions methodological weaknesses in current efforts to measure coverage, and especially coverage trends over time have been identified. Of particular importance are coverage indicators in these areas:
Indicators of correct treatment of childhood infectious diseases, especially those for pneumonia and diarrhea, need to be reassessed in light of changing clinical guidelines and new efforts to promote community case management of pneumonia.
Indicators that focus on service provision platforms rather than specific interventions, such as antenatal and postnatal care visits, and skilled attendant at delivery.
The objectives of this activity are:
- To improve the measurement of coverage for high-impact MNC interventions; and
- To establish standards for assessing trends over time and uncertainty estimates for the measurement of coverage for high-impact MNC interventions.
The first step will be to identify the priority interventions for this work. An established core working group will identify priority interventions for the initial round of intensive work to improve the measurement of trends in coverage. Additionally, this activity will support three levels of effort directed at improving the measurement and reporting of coverage for the priority interventions or service delivery platforms, as described below.
- assess past and current coverage measurement efforts, and the identification and assessment of potential improvements.
- address problems in data collection, analysis and reporting that can be resolved relatively quickly through limited analysis of existing data sets and/or technical consultations .
- convene a meeting to reconcile technical differences or developing a technical note on a specific issue.
Finally, the use of improved measurement approaches will be promoted. The most important product of this work will be improved information about coverage levels for interventions proven to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality that can be used by Ministries of Health and their development partners to track the effectiveness of their strategies for scaling up. Even if indicators remain the same, the proposed work will result in a better understanding of their limitations, and thus better intelligence for use by decision makers. This activity is also expected to result in improved harmonization in coverage monitoring across countries and global initiatives and over time.