In April 2011, an award was made to Johns Hopkins University to conduct embedded operations research in Malawi, Ethiopia, Mali, and Mozambique to improve iCCM monitoring systems and data availability and quality, using the iCCM Benchmarks indicators as the framework. The “Implementation Research Embedded in Integrated Community Case Management Program: Improving Data to Improve Programs (CCM-IDIP)” project had the goal of improving routine and episodic monitoring of CCM programming in order to strengthen implementation and enhance the overall impact of CCM implementation on child survival in Malawi, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and globally.
The objective of this research was to improve monitoring of iCCM programming. The “Improving Data to Improve Systems” study was embedded within iCCM programs of four sub-Saharan African countries and focused on the monitoring and evaluation challenge to iCCM. The study team worked to assess iCCM indicators and data quality in each country’s monitoring system, identify priority gaps, and in Malawi, to identify and test potential solutions. TRAction and its research partners addressed the following objectives:
These findings indicate that iCCM has yet to be well integrated into national M&E systems, and that the resulting lack of data may play a role in the limited scale-up of iCCM. Further integration is needed, and based on initial findings of high data quality, would likely provide reliable data on iCCM programs. Innovative approaches, including those tested by the study team, are needed, particularly to address data use issues. Partners in Malawi are already working on adapting these approaches for wider application.
TRAction and its partners used findings from this research to develop recommendations that will facilitate scale-up of iCCM programs. Findings were scaled up and shared with stakeholders through a variety of channels:
Findings and recommendations will continue to be disseminated at both the country and global level as TRAction and its partners develop technical documents, participate in working groups, and attend key events.