#JazaShelves Campaign in Bungoma. Credit: E4A-MamaYe/Kenya 2018
#JazaShelves Campaign in Bungoma, 2018

Using evidence to drive action

Using evidence to drive action

Too many mothers and children are still dying from preventable causes. Evidence for Action (E4A)-MamaYe catalyses change by bringing together groups (including government, civil society and health practitioners) to use existing information and resources to:

  • Identify the reasons why women and babies are dying
  • Agree on how available resources can be used most effectively to address these reasons 
  • Advocate for the changes needed

As a result, government and health practitioners are better able to respond appropriately to the issues causing unnecessary deaths and injuries. This means women and children have better access to improved quality health services, more women having safe births.

Where do we work?

The geographic focus of our work evolves according to demand. We have worked in ten sub-Saharan African countries to improve maternal and child health in the following countries and regions:

  • Nigeria: programme office in Abuja; focused activities in Lagos, Niger and Bauchi states
  • Kenya: programme office in Nairobi; focused activities in Nairobi county and Bungoma county
  • Francophone Africa: ad hoc technical assistance for health financing in Francophone countries in which the Global Financing Facility invests

Building on our success

We bring together government officials, health professionals, civil society advocates and the media in coalitions that work towards positive change and transform data into easy-to-understand information, carefully targeting those who need to use it as evidence for decision-making. Through this we aim to achieve the following in the countries that we work:

  • Increased salence of maternal and newborn health (MNH) as a priority on government policy agendas
  • Holding government accountable for evidence informed decision making on MNH in targeted
  • Better resourcing of MNH services

Our approaches are informed by evidence-based best practices. These include tools for evidence-based advocacy to improve MNH services, strengthening accountability across the health system through Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR), and scorecards to track progress against commitments.  

How do we work?

In July 2019, we started a new phase of the programme with a focus on sustaining the approaches we have developed.

These include:

  • ensuring civil society are able to access, analyse and use data to advocate independently
  • empowering coalitions to be self-supporting
  • making our approaches, tools and resources publicly available for use across sub-Saharan Africa and beyond as Global Public Goods

Read more on how we will achieve this in the countries where we work: Kenya | Nigeria | Regional

We welcome opportunities for collaboration, partnership, knowledge sharing and capacity building with like-minded organisations. Contact us at: info@evidence4action.net.


Budget for family planning and midwives included at federal level, and for family planning at state level in Lagos, Nigeria

By 2016, 69% of facilities in Ethiopia had implemented MDSR and 64% of facilities had an MDSR committee.

In Malawi, healthcare professionals and policy-makers at national, district and facility level said their decisions about health resource allocation were more influenced by evidence than they were previously.

In Tanzania, we supported Mara region to develop a regional strategy for the reduction of maternal and newborn mortality.

Funded by

Our experts

  • Marleen Vellekoop
    Marleen has over 12 years’ experience in strengthening health systems in Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. She has a background in political science and public health and has held management, technical, team leadership and business development roles in projects funded by the Dutch government and UK Aid. She designs and implements high-quality health sector programmes, with a focus on governance and accountability.
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