What to expect from IDEAS this year 

2019 is shaping up to be a busy year for the IDEAS project. After a wealth of data collection and analysis over the past two years, more and more results are now ready to be shared.
In Nigeria, our work on tracking progress and promoting the use of data for decision making in Gombe State will be completed this year. A final Data Driven Learning Workshop is taking place in the second quarter of the year, as well as a final dissemination event in late 2019.
Aligned with this we have been busy analysing our data on improving coverage measurement, including new evidence on the validity of different methods to measure coverage in maternal and newborn health and new evidence to help us understand respectful maternity care in this setting.
In Lagos State, we added an exciting new piece of work to the IDEAS portfolio in 2018 in the form of an evaluation of a quality improvement initiative and are looking forward to a first phase of data collection starting in March 2019.

In Ethiopia, the findings from the evaluation of the Community Based Newborn Care programme are ready and the final report will be launched in Ethiopia within the first quarter of the year.
Additionally, the Data Informed Platform for Health (DIPH) work, to support use of data for decision-making at district level, is gaining momentum with a number of workshops and meetings taking place.
Findings from the research to understand quality improvement in Ethiopia are taking shape with a number of publications in the pipeline for 2019. This includes work looking into causes for unauthorised absenteeism in Ethiopia’s health system and a qualitative study of factors affecting facility delivery.

Finally, our work on sustainability at scale is progressing quickly. All data collection for the study looking at the sustainability of the Village Health Worker Scheme in Gombe is completed and analysis is ongoing. This will come together in a third research brief in the second quarter of 2019, as well as planned journal publications. Interviews for the three-country study looking at sustainability and scalability of innovations are almost completed and initial findings will be presented in the course of the year.

Can we use DHIS2 data to monitor maternal and newborn health? A case study from Gombe state, Nigeria
A paper authored by IDEAS team member Antoinette Bhattacharya and published as part of a series on High Quality Health Systems in PLOS ONE aims to determine the quality of routine health facility-based data in DHIS2 for maternal and newborn health services in Gombe state, Nigeria.
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Improving quality of routine data
Antoinette Bhattacharya has also just wrapped up a series of four Data Quality Workshops in Gombe State working with local government area actors. In a final workshop report, she writes about how increased trust in the quality of data can lead to increased use of data for decision making.
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Collaborative Learning for enhanced maternal and newborn health in Gombe 
This is the first of two blogs reflecting on a collaboration between the Gombe State Primary Health Care Development Agency, four NGO implementation projects and IDEAS to enhance the use of data for decision-making in Gombe State, Nigeria. The work of the partnership can be conceptualised as a data-driven learning cycle, an approach to enhancing evidence-based programmatic and strategic decision-making. The second blog will focus on what has changed as a result of this three-year collaboration.
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“Their own project for their own people”: Community participation in the Village Health Worker Scheme in Gombe State, Nigeria
In one of our latest blog posts Deepthi Wickremasinghe explains how community involvement is vital for making progress towards universal coverage of health services for mothers and newborns. The example from Nigeria shows that communities cannot work in a vacuum if universal coverage is to be achieved.  The state government engagement is also important to ensure community health services are embedded in the health system and in the state’s health budget. This engagement creates an enabling environment for scale-up and sustainability.
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