Setting Priorities for Safe Motherhood Programme Evaluation: A Participatory Process in Three Developing Countries

Madi et al. (2007) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

safe motherhood

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Africa - Burkina Faso; Africa - Ghana; Asia - Indonesia

Why was it conducted at all?

A participatory approach to priority setting in programme evaluation may help improve the allocation and more efficient use of scarce resources especially in low-income countries. Research agendas that are the result of collaboration between researchers, programme managers, policy makers and other stakeholders have the potential to ensure rigorous studies are conducted on matters of local priority, based on local, expert knowledge.

What was the objective?

to elicit and prioritize evaluation needs for safe motherhood in three developing countries

What was the outcome?

a list of 3 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

36 months

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

focus group; survey; workshop

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: consultation: initial orientation workshop to elicit each country's key evaluation priorities, initial list of evaluation questions per country generated. Step 2: workshops and survey 1: to identify priority evaluation questions, survey asked about preferences for safe motherhood programs, during workshop participants were asked to discuss and list three significant evaluation questions of importance to each country, results of survey and group discussions then synthesized. Step 3: group discussions: to explore and discuss important evaluation questions. Step 4: survey 2: list of important characteristics of safe motherhood programs and list of priority evaluation questions, participants were asked for their preferences. Step 5: focus groups: results of survey 2 were used to reach consensus on the three most important evaluation questions

Which stakeholders took part?

Representatives from the ministry of health and its partners, international donor organizations, national and international non-governmental organizations and the research and training community. 81 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Efforts were made to represent all safe motherhood programs and projects in each country. Existing programs and projects were listed with the assistance of maternal public health departments. In addition, the snowball approach was used to identify others involved in maternal public health activities.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.