SEND GHANA and Christian Aid Ghana jointly implemented the Improving Maternal Health Delivery through Participatory Governance (IMPROVE) project with a total funding amount of 500,000 Euros from the European Union (EU).
The three-year project sought to address social exclusion of citizens and a lack of non-state actor (NSA) participation in governance, that result in inadequate delivery of basic social services such as maternal health at district and sub-district levels.
Project activities were directly aligned with the national MDG Acceleration Framework and Country Action Plan for Maternal Health in Ghana, (MAF) 2011-2015 that highlighted three (3) priority areas namely; family planning (FP); skilled delivery; and emergency obstetric and new born care (EmONC).
Thus, promotion of citizen’s awareness on maternal health rights through sensitization and advocacy, building citizen capacity to monitor progress on addressing these identified maternal health related challenges, improving state and non-state actor dialoguing, strengthening partnerships with the media to downstream key maternal health messages to a wide reach were the primary focus in the implementation of this project.
Outcome 1: Citizens are monitoring financial allocations and spending on maternal health, quality and effectiveness of service delivery, and demanding transparency and accountability.
- 150 Community champions trained and resourced to carry out maternal health education across 30 districts
- 68,000 citizens sensitized during community durbars on maternal health, civic responsibility and taxation
- An estimated total of 640,000 citizens were reached via radio discussion sensitization programs on 6 radio stations in Upper West, Upper East and Northern regions.
- 90 members of DCMCs across 30 districts capacity enhanced to track budgets and monitor maternal health service delivery
- 68, 200 citizens sensitized on maternal health issues by community champions
Outcome 2: Citizens are meaningfully engaged in regular and successful interaction with MMDAs and MDAs
- 68 policy engagement sessions held at District, Regional and National Levels
- Participated in 18 bi-annual and annual performance review meetings of 30 DHMTs across the 3 Northern Regions
- DCMCs carried out regular follow ups with MMDAs on 136 commitments secured
Outcome 3: CSOs are using media to get people’s voices heard effectively to share lessons learnt.
- 40,000 citizens sensitized on maternal health issues via radio (estimates)
- Trained 28 Citizens groups to capture participatory videos on Maternal Health as basis for advocacy
- Trained 30 Journalists in the 3 Regions of the North on sensitive Maternal Health Reporting
- A total of 136 commitments were secured from policy sensitizations and policy dialogues sessions. As at the closure of the project in January 2017, the rate of responsiveness from duty bearers stood at 78%.
- There is evidence of improved health seeking behavior of citizens thereby contributing to increased health outcomes in beneficiary districts and communities (video documentary) See link to full video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtJbl1Vfm5k
- The project has contributed to Ghana’s progress at addressing maternal health issues in the 30 districts regardless of the fact that the country missed the MDG 5 target. There is increased awareness and knowledge of citizens on maternal health issues and civic responsibilities, strengthened capacity of community actors to lead in information dissemination and sensitization on approaches to addressing barriers to maternal health service delivery.
- Trained media personnel have used the skills to report on maternal health issues through written stories on maternal health issues in the project areas. These stories were widely circulated on key media outlets(radio, TV, online and the print media) including Citi FM, GNA, GBC Radio, UTV, Bishara Radio, Daily Graphic, Ghanaian Observer, citifmonline.com, myjoyonline.com, graphiconline.com. Over 500,000 estimated listeners’/readers were reached with the stories on these media outlets to influence behavioral change in the health delivery chain.
- A total of 6 Health Facilities comprising 3 Health Centres and 3 District Hospitals from the 3 Project regions received MDG Awards for their contribution to maternal Health Services in Ghana. In the Northern Region, Walewale District Hospital and Nyankpala Health Centre were the award winners. In the Upper East Region, Zebilla District Hospital and Paga Health Centre were the award winners whilst in the Upper West Region, Tumu District Hospital and Sombo Health Centre in Nadowli received the awards. Each award recipient was honored with a citation as well as maternal health equipment and logistics valued at 2000 Euros.
Formal closure: The IMPROVE Project came to a formal close in January 2017 during a close out meeting in Tamale, where selected facilities were awarded.
Figure 1: Staff of SEND, Christian AID Uk, Christian AID Ghana and Community members during a durbar to outdoor a mobile CHPS Compound in Chasia, Wa East
Figure 2: Close out conference in Tamale