Independent Evaluation of the Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in Kenya Programme

An evaluation of a programme in Kenya to avert maternal and neonatal deaths through nationwide life saving skills training for health professionals, and integrated health system strengthening in selected counties.

Kenya has one of the highest rates of maternal deaths in the world, at 362 per 100,000 live births (Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, 2014). Fifty-six percent of infant deaths in Kenya occur during the first month of life. Challenges include poor access to quality delivery and emergency care, low use of available services, shortages of skilled health workers, equipment and supplies, and weak referral systems. Financial, cultural and geographical barriers also prevent women from using maternal health care services.

The Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in Kenya Programme is a five-year UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded programme implemented by UNICEF, Options, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), and other partners.The Programme is expected to contribute to preventing 1,092 maternal and 3,836 neonatal deaths by 2018. The expected outcome is increased access to and utilisation of quality maternal and newborn health services. The programme has been designed in close collaboration with national authorities and other development partners and is aligned with sector priorities.

The Programme supports a range of interventions to improve maternal and neonatal health (MNH) including training of health workers, health systems strengthening, community mobilisation, and demand generation. It is implemented in six counties with different sociodemographic contexts: peri-urban informal settlements in Nairobi; nomadic pastoralist communities in Garissa and Turkana; and largely rural agrarian populations in Kakamega, Bungoma and Homa Bay.

IDS is a member of a consortium led by hera, and also involving Itad and the Great Lake University of Kisumu (GLUK), contracted to evaluate the Programme. The three year evaluation (2016-2018) will assess the efficiency, effectiveness, relevance, equity and impact of the Programme.

Key contacts

Image of Tom Barker

Tom Barker

Senior Health & Nutrition Convenor


+44 (0)1273 915717

Project details

start date
28 June 2016
end date
28 June 2019


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