World-Bank Supported Interventions Contribute to The Gambia’s Gains in Health and Nutrition
Banjul, The Gambia – May 30th, 2019: The Gambia has made encouraging improvements in health and nutrition in the past five years, according to an Impact Evaluation Endline Results of the World Bank financed Maternal and Child Nutrition and Health Results Project (MCNHRP). The project has contributed to many of these gains, as confirmed by the Impact Evaluation presented today in Banjul. Notably, improvements in skilled delivery care, certain aspects of quality of care, exclusive breastfeeding as well as in water, sanitation and hygiene can be specifically attributed to the interventions supported of the MCNHRP.
The Project aimed to improve the health and nutrition status of women and children by strengthening and expanding primary health care and community nutrition. In doing so, it used a unique and complementary set of innovative results-based financing (RBF) approaches that addressed key bottlenecks both at community level and in the health system and strengthen the links between the two.
“As the RBF mechanism shifts the focus to results instead of inputs, it goes beyond the supply-side of health service delivery and incentivises community level improvements for maternal and child wellbeing by enhancing health care seeking,” noted Mr. Modou Cheyassin Phall, Project Coordinator and Executive Director of the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA).
The Impact Evaluation rigorously assessed the effectiveness of the project interventions by using three rounds of data collection between 2014 and 2018. “The evidence suggests that results-based financing is contributing to the improvement of maternal and child nutrition and health and can be considered as a mechanism for broader health system strengthening. Furthermore, there are a set of improvements that can be specifically attributed to the MCNHRP interventions above and beyond overall improvements,” said Dr. Rifat Hasan, co-Principal Investigator and Impact Evaluation Task Team Leader.
The Project – implemented by the NaNa and the Ministry of Health – has been empowering individual women, communities and health workers to improve uptake, participation, ownership, caring practices and accountability for maternal and child health and nutrition.
“Investing in improved health and nutrition of women and children has significant impact both for human capital accumulation as well as spurring economic growth. And this is why women and children are core to the World Bank’s twin goal of eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity,” said Elene Imnadze, The World Bank Country Representative for The Gambia.