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Our Work

Coverage indicator validation studies

Household surveys are a measurement method in which people are directly asked about their health and access to services and interventions. Survey data play an important role in program planning, evaluation, and research. Our work focuses on assessing the accuracy of priority reproductive, maternal, newborn, child health & nutrition (RMNCH&N) coverage indicators measured in household surveys. We use quantitative and qualitative methods to answer questions about the accuracy of survey-based indicators and to understand the factors that affect people’s responses to survey questions.

Effective coverage methods

Effective coverage (EC) adds measures of service readiness, quality of care, and/or heath outcomes to intervention coverage or service coverage measures. EC “cascades” have been proposed by several authors to identify bottlenecks between service delivery and effective coverage. However, the methods for estimating the elements of effective coverage cascades, and particularly input-adjusted coverage and process-adjusted coverage, are not well defined. Our work on EC has focused on developing evidence-based methods for conducting these analyses. We defined key methodological questions, implemented studies to answer them, and piloted the methods across 7 service areas to understand the issues and challenges in conducting EC research.


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 Associates

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