Evidence Acquisition and Evaluation for Evidence Summit on Enhancing Provision and Use of Maternal Health Services through Financial Incentives

Elizabeth S. Higgs, Emily Stammer, Rebecca Roth, Robert L. Balster

Abstract


Recognizing the need for evidence to inform US Government and governments of the low- and middleincome countries on efficient, effective maternal health policies, strategies, and programmes, the US Government convened the Evidence Summit on Enhancing Provision and Use of Maternal Health Services through Financial Incentives in April 2012 in Washington, DC, USA. This paper summarizes the background and methods for the acquisition and evaluation of the evidence used for achieving the goals of the Summit. The goal of the Summit was to obtain multidisciplinary expert review of literature to inform both US Government and governments of the low- and middle-income countries on evidence-informed practice, policies, and strategies for financial incentives. Several steps were undertaken to define the tasks for the Summit and identify the appropriate evidence for review. The process began by identifying focal questionsintended to inform governments of the low-and middle-income countries and the US Government about the efficacy of supply- and demand-side financial incentives for enhanced provision and use of quality maternal health services. Experts were selected representing the research and programme communities, academia, relevant non-governmental organizations, and government agencies and were assembled into Evidence Review Teams. This was followed by a systematic process to gather relevant peer-reviewed literature that would inform the focal questions. Members of the Evidence Review Teams were invited to add relevant papers not identified in the initial literature review to complete the bibliography. The Evidence Review Teams were asked to comply with a specific evaluation framework for recommendations on practice and policy based on both expert opinion and the quality of the data. Details of the search processes andmethods used for screening and quality reviews are described. 

Key words: Incentive; Maternal health services; Maternal mortality; Motivation; Perinatal mortality; Prenatal care; Reimbursement


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