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An impact evaluation of the Safe Motherhood Promotion Project in Bangladesh: Evidence from Japanese aid-funded technical cooperation

  • Kamiya, Yusuke
  • Yoshimura, Yukie
  • Islam, Mohammad Tajul

This paper reports the findings from a quasi-experimental impact evaluation of the Safe Motherhood Promotion Project (SMPP) conducted in the Narsingdi district of Bangladesh. SMPP is a Japanese aid-funded technical cooperation project aimed at developing local capacities to tackle maternal and newborn health problems in rural areas. We assessed whether the project interventions, in particular, community-based activities under the Model Union approach, had a favorable impact on women's access to and knowledge of maternal health care during pregnancy and childbirth. The project comprises a package of interlinked interventions to facilitate safe motherhood practices at primary and secondary care levels. The primary-level activities focused on community mobilization through participatory approaches. The secondary-level activities aimed at strengthening organizational and personnel capacities for delivering emergency obstetric care (EmOC) at district and sub-district level hospitals. The project impact was estimated by difference-in-differences logistic regressions using two rounds of cross-sectional household survey data. The results showed that the project successfully increased the utilization of antenatal visits and postpartum EmOC services and also enhanced women's knowledge of danger signs during pregnancy and delivery. The project also reduced income inequalities in access to antenatal care. In contrast, we found no significant increase in the use of skilled birth attendants (SBA) in the project site. Nonetheless, community mobilization activities and the government's voucher scheme played a complementary role in promoting the use of SBA.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 83 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 34-41

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:83:y:2013:i:c:p:34-41
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  1. Ahmed, Shakil & Khan, M. Mahmud, 2011. "Is demand-side financing equity enhancing? Lessons from a maternal health voucher scheme in Bangladesh," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(10), pages 1704-1710, May.
  2. Michael A. Clemens & Gabriel Demombynes, 2011. "When does rigorous impact evaluation make a difference? The case of the Millennium Villages," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(3), pages 305-339, September.
  3. Nguyen, Ha T.H. & Hatt, Laurel & Islam, Mursaleena & Sloan, Nancy L. & Chowdhury, Jamil & Schmidt, Jean-Olivier & Hossain, Atia & Wang, Hong, 2012. "Encouraging maternal health service utilization: An evaluation of the Bangladesh voucher program," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(7), pages 989-996.
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