Factors affecting effective community participation in maternal and newborn health programme planning, implementation and quality of care interventions.


Howard-Grabman, L; Miltenburg, AS; Marston, C; Portela, A; (2017) Factors affecting effective community participation in maternal and newborn health programme planning, implementation and quality of care interventions. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, 17 (1). p. 268. ISSN 1471-2393 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-017-1443-0

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Abstract

Community participation in in health programme planning, implementation and quality improvement was recently recommended in guidelines to improve use of skilled care during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period for women and newborns. How to implement community participation effectively remains unclear. In this article we explore different factors. We conducted a secondary analysis, using the Supporting the Use of Research Evidence framework, of effectiveness studies identified through systematic literature reviews of two community participation interventions; quality improvement of maternity care services; and maternal and newborn health programme planning and implementation. Community participation ranged from outreach educational activities to communities being full partners in decision-making. In general, implementation considerations were underreported. Key facilitators of community participation included supportive policy and funding environments where communities see women's health as a collective responsibility; linkages with a functioning health system e.g. via stakeholder committees; intercultural sensitivity; and a focus on interventions to strengthen community capacity to support health. Levels of participation and participatory approaches often changed over the life of programmes as community and health services capacity to interact developed. Implementation requires careful consideration of the context: previous experience with participation, who will be involved, gender norms, and the timeframe for implementation. Relevant stakeholders must be actively involved, particularly those often excluded from decision making. Current limited evidence suggests that the vision of community participation as a process and the presence of a focus to strengthen community capacity to participate and to improve health may be a key factor for long term success.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 28854886
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/4301337

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