Council Activities Included in
Kenya’s Best Practices Compendium
NAIROBI, KENYA (24 February 2010) — The first-ever compendium of best practices in reproductive health in Kenya was launched in Nairobi on 16 February 2010 by Kenya's Ministry of Health. The compendium highlights eight case studies that have been implemented in the country. These studies were judged on four criteria: replicability, sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and increased service utilization.
Four of the eight successful initiatives were drawn from Population Council activities in Kenya, including:
- institutionalizing the Kenya Adolescent Reproductive Health Program (KARHP);
- scaling up the successful Friends of Youth initiative;
- taking critical maternal and newborn care services to homes via a community midwifery model; and
- integrating counseling and testing into family planning services programs.
The Council’s research also was used to inform the design of one other successful entry, the focused antenatal care/malaria in pregnancy (FANC/MIP) initiative. In addition, the Council was part of the team that designed the Kenya Reproductive Health Output-Based Aid program, also included in the compendium.
Entries were considered best practices if they were evidence-based and had achieved demonstrated impact and if they were sustainable (i.e., integrated within Kenya's Ministry of Health systems) and easy to replicate in similar settings.
Kenya's Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) began the documentation process in 2008 to facilitate sharing experiences and lessons learned between different agencies implementing reproductive health programs in Kenya. Through the initiative, the DRH also sought to ensure that only innovative and successful strategies are promoted and scaled up to help the Government of Kenya achieve its health services targets. The documentation activity was a deliberate effort to encourage focus on programs that work and dissuade the duplication of ineffective approaches. The DRH also hoped to encourage its managers to use current evidence from relevant, valid research in making decisions about DRH programs and service delivery. Fifty programs were submitted for the exercise from various reproductive health agencies in Kenya, out of which a shortlist of 37 was made. The final eight were chosen from these 37 programs.
"This is very encouraging. The big lesson here is that policymakers in Kenya do pay attention to research-based evidence, and so our work continues to be critically important in informing policy and programming in Kenya," says Dr. Ian Askew, the Population Council’s director of reproductive health research and services.
This documentation process was implemented through a task force comprising DRH staff and partners and in collaboration with the World Health Organization and Family Health International.
About the Population Council
The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues—from stopping the spread of HIV to improving reproductive health and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, we work with our partners to deliver solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world. Established in 1952 and headquartered in New York, the Council is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization governed by an international board of trustees.
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