The research areas under this project include interventions using quality maternal health indicators as an outcome; evidence on the sustainability of proven interventions including evidence on feasibility of implementation and scale up in a variety of settings; standardization of indicators of quality care that would facilitate the evaluation of quality improvement efforts; affect of initiatives to improve providers’ performance on client outcomes e.g training, provision of job aids, self-assessment tools, enhanced supervision and ongoing evaluation, and improved infrastructure and facilities; mixed method approaches to determine barriers and supporting factors for implementation and scale up of best practices; and strengthening health information systems to evaluate effectiveness of interventions.
The ICMR’s initiative on this project is significant as research shows that it is necessary to go beyond maximising coverage of essential interventions and quality of care in pregnancy as childbirth is increasingly being recognised as a critical and cost-effective element in accelerating reductions in maternal and perinatal mortality and severe morbidity. Good quality of care requires appropriate use of effective clinical and non-clinical interventions, strengthened health infrastructure and optimum skills and attitude of health providers, resulting in improved health outcomes and positive experience of women and providers.
Creating a shared vision for improved quality of care requires that programme managers, service providers, researchers, and consumer advocates commit to the idea that quality matters. There is a scarcity of evidence on community, district and facility level interventions for improved quality of care specific to maternal health care and outcomes. Evidence is also lacking on the effectiveness of these interventions in different population groups that may represent within country disparities.
The ICMR has invited concept proposals from eligible scientists for this project before July 15, 2015