The UNH4+/ Global Affairs Canada (GAC) Maternal New-born and Child Health (MNBH) Project on the Acceleration of Maternal and Child Morbidities and Mortalities in Nigeria (2011-2016) aimed to contribute to the improvement of maternal and child health by increasing the utilization of maternal, newborn and child health care services as well as scaling up the delivery of evidence-based gender responsive interventions using existing health and community structures in 15 selected states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria.
The evaluation of the UNH4+ project was commissioned by UNFPA and Ghubril Ltd was selected to conduct the evaluation. The evaluation was conducted in line with the ethical guidelines of UNEG, and with the aim to provide good-quality evidence for learning, decision making, policy advocacy and accountability purposes as described in the Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System (GEROS).
The purpose of the evaluation was two-fold:
1. Learning: To guide the implementation of future projects by the United Nations in Nigeria and globally through the guidance provided by the findings, conclusions, recommendations and lessons learned from the project.
2. Accountability: To inform the operations of in-country government partners at national, and as much as possible, state and local government authority (LGA) levels, particularly with reference to the catalytic and pilot elements of the project and their effects on the health system, both positive and negative.
Though there were small pockets of successful MNCH interventions, progress toward MNCH advances was slow overall. Examples of more effective interventions in different project locations included: the incorporation of a gender perspective at national policy level; the enabling function of core technical committees and ward development committees; the institutionalization of the Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response; the development of state annual operation plans; the regular supply of family planning commodities in PHC facilities. The UNH4+ project combined different outreach strategies (for example, home visits by volunteers; organization or revitalization of Ward Development Committees; messages from religious and traditional leaders). The combination of activities varied and in many locations likely had a synergetic effect that supported higher attendance at facilities by women and families. This development was greatly appreciated by all stakeholders including community members.