Improving Systems to Empower Communities
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Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health


Reducing Maternal, Newborn, and Child Mortality

 A mother and her newborn share a first glance
 moments after birth in Afghanistan. Photo by
 Annie Clark, URC.
URC partners with policy makers and national counterparts in several countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to assure a sustainable, wide-scale application of evidence-based maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) interventions.  Supporting the integrated management of child illness at the health facility and community levels, we work to improve the quality of services and increase the participation of private sector and non-governmental organizations in MNCH care in resource-limited regions.


A trainer (right) assesses a health care provider's newborn resuscitation skills as he practices on a mannequin. Photo by Connie Namajji, URC.
URC applies the science of improvement by changing systems and processes of care to enable reliable implementation of evidence-based interventions, thereby improving health outcomes. We address programs across the continuum of MNCH care, including:

Antenatal Care (ANC)

URC implements programs to increase the proportion of pregnant women who benefit from ANC services as well as improve the quality of each ANC visit so that every pregnant woman fully benefits from the wide range of preventive, counseling, and testing services offered.  We believe that successful ANC visits open the gate for increasing deliveries at health facilities and providing other services, such as HIV counseling and testing and child survival services.

Childbirth and Postpartum Care

URC is improving childbirth services in several resource-constrained settings by ensuring the proper and routine use of the partograph, a tool that monitors the progress of labor; improving the quality of essential and emergency obstetric care; and preventing postpartum hemorrhage through the routine and effective application of active management of the third stage of labor (AMTSL).  We also play a leading role in testing innovative approaches to integrate family planning counseling and services into postpartum care.

AMSTL coverage and postpartum hemorrhage rates in 41 target facilities in Mali's Kayes and Diema districts, October 2009-December 2011.











Neonatal Care

URC is an implementing partner of Helping Babies Breathe, a global initiative to reduce asphyxia-related newborn death by scaling up newborn resuscitation capacity in resource-limited countries.  URC also supports national capacities to scale up the application of essential newborn care and the reduction of newborn sepsis.

Coverage and effectiveness of newborn resuscitation in seven MNCH facilities in two Ugandan districts, September 2011.

A mother provides kangaroo
mother care
for her newborn
at the San Vicente de Paul

Hospital in San Francisco de
Macoris,
Dominican Republic.
Photo by Emily
Treleaven, URC.
URC is also helping decrease neonatal mortality by focusing on high-risk babies, such as those born preterm and/or with low birth weight. We have introduced and scaled up the application of Kangaroo Mother Care, a method of care for preterm infants, in several countries, including Guatemala, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Child Health

URC advocates increased support for child survival services and scale-up of preventive and curative child health services, such as vaccination and community case management of child illness. We apply quality improvement approaches to enhance the prompt and effective management of the three leading causes of child deaths in developing countries: malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia.

A Senegalese mother and child. Photo by Youssef Tawfik, URC.










Current Projects

Essential Obstetric and Newborn Care (EONC) Networks Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2009 to present

HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis Laboratory Support
Funded By: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Project Duration: 2009 to present

Translating Research into Action (TRAction) Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2009 to present

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Guatemala
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2008 to present

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Nicaragua
Funded By: United States Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007 to present

USAID Primary Health Care Project in Iraq (PHCPI)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2011 to present

Partnership for the Community Management of Child Health (Partenariat pour la Prise en Charge Communautaire de la Santé Infantile – Prise-C)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2010 to present

Diagnosis and Management of Severe Febrile Illness: Tibu Homa
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2011 to present

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Georgia
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2011 to present

Nutri-Salud: Community Nutrition and Health Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2012 to present

USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project | Global
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID) through the USAID Bureau for Global Health, Office of Health Systems
Project Duration: 2012 to present

USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project | India
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID) through USAID/India
Project Duration: 2013 to present

USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project | South Africa
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID) through USAID/South Africa
Project Duration: 2013 to present

USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project | Tanzania
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID) through USAID/Tanzania and USAID Bureau for Global Health, Office of HIV and AIDS
Project Duration: October 2012 to present

USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project | Uganda
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID) through USAID/Uganda and the Bureau for Global Health, Office of HIV and AIDS and the Office of Health Systems
Project Duration: 2012 to present

USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project | Ukraine
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID) through the USAID Bureau for Europe and Eurasia
Project Duration: 2013 to present

USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project | Botswana
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID) through USAID Bureau for Global Health, Office of Health Systems
Project Duration: January 2013 to present

Mawa
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
Project Duration: 2012 to present

Niger Implementation Science Study
Funded By: The World Health Organization (WHO)
Project Duration: 2012 to present

Technical Support for Zimbabwe Health Results-Based Financing Program and National Quality Policy Framework
Funded By: The World Bank Group
Project Duration: 2013 to present

Quality Health Services for Haiti (Services de Santé de Qualité pour Haïti – SSQH) North Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2013 to present

Quality Improvement in the Delivery of Health Services in Belize
Funded By: Inter-American Development Bank and Belize Ministry of Health
Project Duration: 2013 to present

USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project | Nicaragua
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2013 to present

Resilience and Economic Growth in Sahel – Enhanced Resilience (REGIS-ER)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2013 to present

Social Health Protection Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2013 to present

Operations Research on Increasing Use of Antenatal Corticosteroids (ACS) in Uganda
Funded By: Save the Children/Uganda and UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children (UNCoLSC)
Project Duration: 2014 to present

Providing Support of Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) to Reduce Infant Mortality
Funded By: Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services
Project Duration: 2014 to present

USAID Quality Health Services
Funded By: USAID
Project Duration: 2014-2019

The Quality Health Services project, funded by USAID, will draw on and scale up successful initiatives started under USAID Cambodia’s recently ended Better Health Services (BHS) project, which was also managed by URC. In addition, the team will apply the knowledge and systems built during BHS to create new capacity-building activities in areas where critical gaps remain.

USAID Ghana Systems for Health Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2014 to present

TASC 4 ICT
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2014 to present

Advancing Newborn, Child and Reproductive Health (ANCRE) Program
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2014 to present

Past Projects

Better Health Services (BHS)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2009-2013

Implementation Support for Non-Communicable Diseases and Injuries
Funded By: Millennium Challenge Corporation
Project Duration: 2009-2013

USAID's Health Promotion and Communication Project (HealthPRO)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2007–2012

Increasing Access to HIV Testing and Counseling
Funded By: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Project Duration: 2006-2012

Benin Integrated Family Health Project (Projet Intégré de Santé Familiale, PISAF)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development and the President’s Malaria Initiative through USAID for malaria activities
Project Duration: 2006–2012

Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia Partnership (MaNHEP)
Funded By: Subaward from Emory University with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Project Duration: 2009-2013

Promoting Malaria Prevention and Treatment (ProMPT)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development through the President’s Malaria Initiative
Project Duration: 2009-2013

Technical Assistance and Support Contract 3: Global Health (TASC3 Global Health)
Funded By: United States Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007-2013

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Afghanistan
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2008-2013

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Ecuador
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007–2012

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | El Salvador
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2009–2012

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Ethiopia
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007–2012

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Honduras
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007-2012

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Global
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007 to 2014

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Mali
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2009-2013

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Niger
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007-2013

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Russia
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2007-2012

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | South Africa
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2007-2013

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Tanzania
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007-2012

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Uganda
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007-2012

Community-Based Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health Innovation
Funded By: US Agency for International Development through a sub-award from ChildFund International
Project Duration: 2009 to 2012

Infant and Young Child Nutrition (IYCN)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2006-2011

Food and Nutrition Interventions (NuLife)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
Project Duration: 2008-2011

Improving Primary Health Care in Albania I and II (Pro Shëndetit)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2003–2009

Multi-Sector Alliance Program (Alianzas II)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development through RTI International
Project Duration: 2010 to 2012

Asia Family Planning Operations Research Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development, Office of Population
Project Duration: 1985-1991

Benin Integrated Family Health Project (PROSAF)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development/Benin
Project Duration: 1999-2006

Health Systems Strengthening (HSS)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development/Cambodia
Project Duration: 2002-2008

Cambodia Health Equity Funds
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2006-2009

Central America Health Consultancies
Funded By: The World Bank
Project Duration: 1990-1995

Chile Child Survival Project Evaluation
Funded By: US Agency for International Development/Chile
Project Duration: 1993-1994

Dominican Republic Child Survival Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development/Dominican Republic
Project Duration: 1991-1993

El Salvador Strengthening Health Project Technical Assistance and Support Contract 2 (TASC2)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2006–2009

Eritrea Technical Assistance and Support Contract 2 (TASC2)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development/Eritrea
Project Duration: 2003–2006

The Maram Project: Healthier Palestinian Families
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2002-2004

Diagnostic Test Cost Analysis for the Developing World
Funded By: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Project Duration: 2007–2009

Health Planning and Health Delivery Systems
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1983-1990

Integrated Management of Childhood Illness Computer-Based Learning Tool
Funded By: World Health Organization
Project Duration: 2001-2002

Primary Health Care Management Advancement Program
Funded By: The Aga Khan Foundation
Project Duration: 1991-1993

Partnerships for Health Reform Project and Partners for Health Reformplus
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1995–2005

Primary Health Care Operations Research Project (PRICOR) I and II
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1981–1991

Maternal and Child Health: Technical Assistance and Support Contract (TASC)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1998–2003

Technical Information on Population for the Private Sector
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1985-1990

Water and Sanitation for Health
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1988–1994

Multi-Sector Alliance Program (Alianzas I)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID) through Research Triangle Institute (RTI)
Project Duration: 2006–2009

Quality in Health (Calidad en Salud)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1999-2009

Haiti Voluntary Agencies for Child Survival Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1989-1995

Latin America and Caribbean Health and Nutrition Sustainability
Funded By: US Agency for International Development’s Latin American and Caribbean Bureau and country Missions
Project Duration: 1990–1995

Project for Regional Management of Health Services
Funded By: US Agency for International Development/Morocco
Project Duration: 1994-2003

Morocco Family Planning and Maternal Child Health
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1994-1999

Regional Management of Health Services Project (Project de Gestion Régionale des Services de Santé, PROGRESS)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2000-2003

Mozambique Primary Health Care Support Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1994-1999

Rapid Expansion of Nutritional Recuperation Services for Malnourished Children in Nigerien Facilities
Funded By: American Jewish World Services, USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, and UNICEF
Project Duration: 2005-2007

Peru Strengthening Health Institutions Project, MaxSalud Component
Funded By: US Agency for International Development/Peru
Project Duration: 1994-1999

Peru Consultancy in Quality Assurance and Improvement: Health and Basic Nutrition Project
Funded By: The World Bank
Project Duration: 1999-2000

Quality Assurance Project (QAP) I, II, and III
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1990-2008

Romania Health Care Reform Program
Funded By: US Agency for International Development /Romania
Project Duration: 2005-2008

Women and Infant Health Strategy
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1999-2003

Senegal Family Health Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1980-1981

Development of a Population and Family Health Improvement Project in the Solomon Islands
Funded By: Asian Development Bank
Project Duration: 1994-1995

Integrated Technical Assistance Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development/South Africa
Project Duration: 2004-2008

Rural Community Health Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development/Tunisia
Project Duration: 1981-1985

Uganda: REDUCE II
Funded By: Academy for Educational Development
Project Duration: 2000-2001

UNICEF Malawi and New York
Funded By: UNICEF
Project Duration: 2008-2010

Improvement of Maternal and Neonatal Health in Belize
Funded By: Ministry of Health, Belize, Central America
Project Duration: 2009 to 2010

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Senegal
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2010-2012

e-Health in Bangladesh: Survey on Strengthening Remote Health Service Facilities
Funded By: Grameen Communication Center
Project Duration: 2008

Technical Assistance and Support Contract 2 (TASC2): Global Health
Funded By: United States Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2004–2009

Strengthening Community Safety Nets (SCSN)
Funded By: United States Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2008-2011

USAID Health Care Improvement (HCI) | Madagascar Community Health Volunteer Assessment
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2011-2013

Technical Support to Develop a Quality-of-Care Framework for a Hospital Health Care Improvement Project in Liberia
Funded By: The World Bank Group
Project Duration: 2013



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