Strengthening Health Systems to Improve Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Outcomes: A Framework

HSS FrameworkAlex Ergo, Rena Eichler, Marge Koblinsky and Nirali Shah

In response to a request by the USAID funded Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) <> , and building on existing health systems frameworks, we developed a framework that positions maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) interventions within the broader health system. The framework presents a structure to organize information and assess how various health systems strengthening (HSS) initiatives might operate within a health system to cause changes that result in improved MNCH.

This framework puts particular emphasis on the following aspects of the health system:

  • The role of individuals, households and communities as producers of health as well as users of health services produced by the health care sector
  • The importance of initiatives that change behaviors and induce health-improving actions throughout the health system: from the level of the individual to that of the service provider, to the local government level, and all the way up to the national policy level
  • The linkages between HSS initiatives and MNCH results
  • The complementarities between different HSS initiatives

(Both the document introducing the framework <>  and a shorter how to guide <>  are available on the MCHIP website)