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December 6, 2011

International Health Department to Track Child Health Interventions in Africa in Real Time

The Institute for International Programs (IIP) in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will begin Phase 2 of the Johns Hopkins Real-Time Results Tracking project, an initiative funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mali and Niger.

“When providing aid to improve the health and survival of women and children, it is essential to know that the aid is having an impact. CIDA has a strong interest in evaluating the effects of its foreign assistance and IIP is pleased to provide its expertise to develop and implement evaluation methods," said Robert Black, MD, MPH, chair and Edgar Berman Professor in International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The project, which began in 2010, is part of Canada's maternal, newborn and child health work in the African region. In the first phase, IIP worked with CIDA to develop tracking methods to measure changes in child mortality. Now entering Phase 2, researchers will employ the tracking methods to report the real-time results of CIDA’s interventions. This approach will allow CIDA to adjust their programs as needed to maximize the number of the child lives saved. The program is expected to cost $8 million through 2014.

"Our government knows that Canadians want to make a difference for those in need around the world and expect real results from Canada's international assistance,” the Honorable Beverley Oda, Minister of International Cooperation in Canada said in a statement. “This project will help track child survival results from Canada's maternal, newborn and child health investments. We are proud to support new cutting-edge tools that will help accountability in development for Canadians and other donors and country partners."

IIP will work with African partner organizations such as national statistics institutions to increase capacity locally in order to more effectively measure the changes in child mortality. Once these real-time tracking methodologies have been tested and validated, CIDA will seek opportunities to replicate them in a number of countries.

Media contact: Tim Parsons, director of Public Affairs, at 410-955-7619 or  tmparson@jhsph.edu.