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01.12.2017 | Research | Sonderheft 2/2017 Open Access

Health Research Policy and Systems 2/2017

Participatory monitoring and evaluation approaches that influence decision-making: lessons from a maternal and newborn study in Eastern Uganda

Zeitschrift:
Health Research Policy and Systems > Sonderheft 2/2017
Autoren:
Rornald Muhumuza Kananura, Elizabeth Ekirapa-Kiracho, Ligia Paina, Ahmed Bumba, Godfrey Mulekwa, Dinah Nakiganda-Busiku, Htet Nay Lin Oo, Suzanne Namusoke Kiwanuka, Asha George, David H. Peters
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12961-017-0274-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Background

The use of participatory monitoring and evaluation (M&E) approaches is important for guiding local decision-making, promoting the implementation of effective interventions and addressing emerging issues in the course of implementation. In this article, we explore how participatory M&E approaches helped to identify key design and implementation issues and how they influenced stakeholders’ decision-making in eastern Uganda.

Method

The data for this paper is drawn from a retrospective reflection of various M&E approaches used in a maternal and newborn health project that was implemented in three districts in eastern Uganda. The methods included qualitative and quantitative M&E techniques such as  key informant interviews, formal surveys and supportive supervision, as well as participatory approaches, notably participatory impact pathway analysis.

Results

At the design stage, the M&E approaches were useful for identifying key local problems and feasible local solutions and informing the activities that were subsequently implemented. During the implementation phase, the M&E approaches provided evidence that informed decision-making and helped identify emerging issues, such as weak implementation by some village health teams, health facility constraints such as poor use of standard guidelines, lack of placenta disposal pits, inadequate fuel for the ambulance at some facilities, and poor care for low birth weight infants. Sharing this information with key stakeholders prompted them to take appropriate actions. For example, the sub-county leadership constructed placenta disposal pits, the district health officer provided fuel for ambulances, and health workers received refresher training and mentorship on how to care for newborns.

Conclusion

Diverse sources of information and perspectives can help researchers and decision-makers understand and adapt evidence to contexts for more effective interventions. Supporting districts to have crosscutting, routine information generating and sharing platforms that bring together stakeholders from different sectors is therefore crucial for the successful implementation of complex development interventions.
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