Countdown to 2015 Country Case Studies: Analysing progress towards maternal and child survival in the Millennium Development Goal era
Countdown to 2015 for Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival (Countdown) began in 2003, monitoring and analysing country progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 (reduce child mortality) and 5 (improve maternal health). For 12 years Countdown synthesised data on coverage and its key determinants across the continuum of care for women’s and children’s health. Understanding global level progress to the MDGs was more recently complemented by a series of country case studies (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Pakistan, Peru, and Tanzania). The country case studies enabled an assessment of why and how countries progressed towards improving women’s and children’s health during the MDG-era, and what factors might explain the specific patterns of progress in individual countries. This supplement collates learning from these country case study analyses.
The full portfolio includes 10 countries at varying stages of progress towards MDGs 4 and 5. These studies involved a partnership between academic institutions well versed in Countdown’s global work and country-based teams consisting of members not directly involved in programme implementation or evaluation to safeguard the independence of the analysis. Each case study collaborative took advantage of country-specific opportunities for learning and faced unique challenges related to the different circumstances in the country (e.g. data availability, team capacity/attrition, and communication between agencies).
This journal supplement describes key lessons from the Countdown case study portfolio. It includes a combination of a summary paper and two methodological papers synthesising findings across the case studies and showcasing novel methods developed for the case studies and three country-specific papers (Tanzania, Peru and Afghanistan) that use subnational data to explore specific themes across the continuum of care.
The full journal supplement is available to read here: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/supplements/volume-16-supplement-2
Key learnings from the Countdown case studies evidence and experience are outlined in Box 1.