Last week, I was proud to represent EnCompass and support Save the Children and a global community committed to maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) during the second day of the Saving Newborn Lives Legacy e-Talks. This webinar series, taking place each Tuesday and Thursday through October 15, is celebrating 20 years of achievement under the Saving Newborn Lives program and renewing commitments to newborn health among a global movement of health experts, practitioners, and evaluation specialists.

On Day 2 of the e-Talks, the theme was global measurement—“Counting newborns – history and progress.” A key feature of our discussion was the continuing challenge of measuring effective coverage in MNCH. This is a primary issue in global health today, and particularly in newborn health, and has been the subject of a number of studies, such as this one.

That challenge is one reason I was glad for the chance to reintroduce the Pathway to Effective Coverage at Scale—an adaptable tool for measuring effective coverage of newborn health interventions. Measuring quality of care is a major element in the Pathway, which helps position health systems to not only understand the current status of newborn health interventions at country level, but also, as measurement evolves, help understand and map next steps for all stakeholders, based on an understanding of the data from measurement of newborn interventions.

My portion of the Saving Newborn Lives legacy series on measurement provided details about the impetus for the Pathway and emphasized the multiple applications of this framework—for strategic planning, for internal monitoring, and for evaluation and learning. I invite you to view the presentation materials and, if you could not attend in person, to watch the recording. We also have an open-access article, “Operationalization health systems thinking: a pathway to high effective coverage,” that will be available soon in Health Policy Research and Systems. The article discusses the motivation and process for developing the Pathway, and provides detailed information about its various components, applications, and data sources.

We were privileged on Day 2 of the e-Talks to hear from colleagues about country-level applications of the Pathway for measuring kangaroo mother care in Malawi and chlorhexidine (CHX) for umbilical cord care in Nepal. In both of these interventions, the Pathway proved to be an adaptable framework that supported meaningful measurement and enabled a fuller understanding of the effectiveness of coverage and the strength of implementation.

About 85 people attended this e-Talk, representing a global community that included participants from health practitioners researchers, program partners, and representatives from organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (which funded Saving Newborn Lives), USAID, Johns Hopkins University, and the World Health Organization.

This Month and Beyond
The Healthy Newborn Network is making recordings and presentation materials from the e-Talks available on its website. I hope you will register for one or more of the remaining sessions. Although the series focuses on newborn health, many of the discussions feature ideas and evidence-based tools and frameworks that apply more broadly in global health. The Pathway is one such tool, systems thinking applied to monitoring, evaluation, and learning of health interventions.<

With our participation in the Saving Newborn Lives Legacy e-Talks, EnCompass joins with the Healthy Newborn Network in honoring 20 years of success and confirming our commitment to collaborative development and wide sharing of adaptable tools, such as the Pathway to Effective Coverage, that practitioners, funders, and evaluators can use to measure the effectiveness of MNCH and other health interventions. We look forward to hearing from each of you about your own commitments and next steps for newborn health. If you are inspired to share, please do so in the comments below.

Finally, I invite you to join EnCompass in spreading the word about this important webinar series, dedicated to ensuring continued commitments to an essential aspect of global health. The hosts have created a social media toolkit you can use to promote this event and show support for the talks. You are also welcome to follow EnCompass on Twitter (@EnCompass_World), LinkedIn, or Facebook for updates.