Site icon IMPROVE


The Improving Measurement and Program Design project (IMPROVE) aims to benefit governments, the global health community, and women and children by generating evidence to support improved measures of intervention coverage and service quality. Accurate and meaningful measures of coverage and quality allow decision-makers to track and interpret trends, changes, and inequities in these measures, in order to understand who is and is not being reached by programs and interventions. These data can inform program planning, improvement, and prioritization of interventions, and play a key role in implementation research and program evaluation.

IMPROVE aims to improve evidence, estimates, and programming for maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and nutrition. Our primary goal is to improve the quality and availability of MNCH & Nutrition intervention coverage and service quality estimates.

This project continues and extends the indicator validation work carried out under the Improved Coverage Measurement (ICM) project and the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group (CHERG) to include reproductive health and nutrition indicators in addition to MNCH indicators. The project has also developed evidence-based protocols for linking health facility and household data to estimate quality-adjusted coverage.

Focus Areas
  1. Increase the availability of evidence for the validity of existing and new MNCAH & Nutrition coverage indicators and questions collected through household surveys

This work includes the following studies and analyses:

  • Validating indicators of diarrhea severity and treatment in children
  • Validating coverage indicators for iron-folic acid supplementation in pregnancy, nutrition education in pregnancy, and breastfeeding promotion in pregnancy and at delivery
  • Validating maternal reports of breastfeeding counseling in infancy
  • Meta-analysis assessing the validity of reporting of maternal and newborn interventions by adolescent women
  • Validation analysis of maternal reporting of interventions delivered during postnatal care in Kenya, Bangladesh, and Cambodia 
  • Proof of concept validation study for hormonal contraception

2. Increase availability of evidence-based tools and protocols for routine national-level linkage of data on care seeking from household surveys with results from service provider assessments

This work includes analyses in the following areas:


This body of research is related to a larger project focused on improving evidence, estimates, and programming for maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and nutrition. To learn more about IMPROVE’s work, visit the Johns Hopkins Institute of International Program website. The Improve Project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


The Team

Fred Arnold, ICF International

Ann Blanc, Population Council

Harry Campbell, University of Edinburgh

Emily Carter, Johns Hopkins University

Thom Eisele, Tulane School of Public Health

Joanne Katz, Johns Hopkins University

Sunny Kim, International Food Policy Research Institute

Margaret KosekThe University of Virginia

Tanya MarchantLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Melinda MunosJohns Hopkins University

Jennifer RequejoUnited Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund

Ashley Sheffel, Johns Hopkins University

Cindy StantonStanton-Hill Research

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