Countdown to 2030 for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health: Strengthening analysis and evidence in sub-Saharan Africa

Project Period

July 2017 - June 2019

Country institutional capacity for data analysis is improving but very slowly and not keeping pace with greater data availability. In general, ministries of health and National Statistical Offices in countries in East and Southern Africa have limited analytical and communication capacity, and there is variable institutional capacity outside of government, e.g., national public health institutes and academic institutions.  There are several bright spots in the sub-region – institutes with greater capacity– but these often get overloaded with projects and requests from government and development partners.

The Countdown to 2030 for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ health is a multi-institutional partnership aiming to accelerate momentum to achieve Sustainable Development Goals around ending preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths. As part of the partnership, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) is coordinating the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) regional Initiative and also providing technical support to the West and Central Africa (WCA) regional Initiative. These Initiatives bring together research and public health institutions with ministries of health from 19 countries in ESA and 20 countries in WCA. The initiatives call on governments and development partners to be accountable, identifies knowledge gaps, and proposes new actions to achieve universal coverage for women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ health.

The project has several different components with complementary objectives.

Strengthening Country Analytical Capacity

Five regional multi-country workshops were organized in 2017 and 2018 to enhance analytical capacity and facilitate cross country learning. In 2019, three regional workshops will be hosted in Dakar (Health Facility workshop and Nutrition) and Nairobi (adolescent sexual and reproductive health) involving government officials and academics from ESA and WCA countries to (1) share the results of the individual countries to an assessment of progress at the regional and global levels, and (2) address specific topics enhancing country work such as financial tracking and performance assessment, health facility data analysis, geospatial analyses focused on administrative decision-making, and implementation research, supported by the thematic working groups.

Read more about the workshops here.

Research Uptake

After five successful analysis workshops organized in 2017 and 2018 that brought together government officials and academics in each of the two regions, APHRC is currently supporting the dissemination and knowledge translation of the evidence generated in the first phase. Specifically, APHRC is providing technical assistance to three ESA countries (Uganda, Zambia, and Botswana) and one WCA country (Niger) to implement in-country dissemination activities targeting government stakeholders. It is hoped that they will use the evidence to improve programming and increase resource allocation to achieve the national and global targets to end preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths.

Raising the Profile of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

In 2019, APHRC and the University of Manitoba are partnering on a multi-country survey analysis and analytical capacity strengthening to generate simple but comprehensive cross-sectoral statistical profiles and improved indicators for countries and NGOs. The capacity building workshops will include participants from ministries of health, public health institutions, and NGOs from 10 countries: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Ghana.

Workshops will be followed by in-depth work in Tanzania to improve measurement of adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights and related gender issues, along with technical meetings to generate solutions for recommendation to the Ministry of Health and its implementing partners. It is expected that these activities will generate a set of tools that can be used in Tanzania and other countries involved to compel action and monitor progress on ASRH.

Nutrition in West Africa

In partnership with the West African Health Organization and Alive & Thrive, APHRC and its partners will build on the tested model of skills building and evidence generation. The overall goals are to (1) enhance evidence for nutrition-related issues for women, children and adolescents in West Africa, and (2) strengthen the capacity for analysis of nutrition data from household surveys. The focus is on countries in the West Africa region including the Alive & Thrive focus countries (Niger, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso), Transform Project focus countries (Nigeria, Ghana), as well Guinea, Liberia, Togo, Benin, and Sierra Leone. Policy leaders will join this process and participate in the interpretation and communication of the findings. An important component is the inter-country learning through comparative analyses of the data, which we expect will sharpen the interpretation of the results and stimulate country action. This project will be carried out in 2019.



Countdown to 2030, World Health Organization, Health Data Collaborative, United Nations Children’s Fund , Johns Hopkins University, University of Manitoba , University of Pelotas , Alive & Thrive , and West African Health Organization 


Phase 1: July 2017 – June 2018

Research Uptake Phase: July 2018 – June 2019

Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Collaborative: March – December 2019  

Nutrition: January – December 2019

PROJECT MAIN FUNDER: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (via UNICEF USA)

Project Funders

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Head of the West Africa Regional Office

Cheikh Mbacke Faye

Cheikh is currently the Head of the APHRC West Africa…

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Research Scientist

Estelle Monique Sidze

Dr. Estelle Sidze is a maternal and child health specialist…

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Research Scientist

Gershim Asiki

Gershim Asiki is a Research Scientist at APHRC, leading the…

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Advocacy Project Manager

Lynette Kamau

Lynette leads the Eastern Africa Health Policy and Research Organization,…

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Martin Kavao Mutua

Martin works under the Health Challenges and Systems research program.…

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Research Scientist

Yohannes Wado

Yohannes Dibaba Wado is a Research Scientist at APHRC, working…

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Associate Research Scientist

Moussa Bagayoko

Moussa is a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist within the Data,…

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Research Officer

Ndèye Awa Fall

Ndèye Awa is a Research Officer at the APHRC West…

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Executive Director, APHRC

Catherine Kyobutungi

Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi is the Executive Director of the African…

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Post-Doctoral Research Scientist

El Hadji Malick Sylla

Malick is a post-doctoral Research Scientist with the Care Economy Africa…

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