Attention to global newborn health policies and programs has grown over the past few years and data are increasingly available for this previously invisible issue. However there is still a need for more and better programmatically relevant data for decision making.
There is an urgent need to develop and refine standardized indicators to monitor and evaluate newborn health programs that can be tracked via large population-based surveys, such as the USAID-supported Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and the UNICEF-supported Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), and also via independent newborn research projects, and country-led health information systems at national and district level.
The newborn indicators technical working group
To address this need, in April 2008 Save the Children’s Saving Newborn Lives program (SNL) convened a meeting of experts from evaluation and measurement, researchers, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and donors, to assess survey-based indicators to monitor and evaluate newborn health. After the April meeting, the Newborn Technical Working Group (TWG) was officially established with representatives from SNL, USAID, Macro, and UNICEF.
The TWG provides a forum to advance indicators and standard measurement tools which are critical to measure coverage of key newborn interventions in an effort to improve newborn survival.
The objectives of the working group are to:
- Ensure consistent use of existing and expanded newborn health indicators by revising and/or developing questions on newborn health for potential inclusion in nationally representative surveys (DHS, SPA, MICS) and independent research projects.
- Provide in-depth instruments on newborn care by developing an expanded newborn care module for consideration on a country-by-country basis for use in population-based surveys.
- Advance the state-of-the-art in newborn care measurement by identifying priorities and opportunities to validate indicators relating to newborn health.
What has been achieved?
Several studies have been undertaken in response to the recommendations from the consultative meeting, informing revisions of indicators and survey tools. Global postnatal care coverage indicators have been finalized, and consensus has been achieved on three additional newborn indicators pertaining to immediate drying, delayed bathing, and cutting the cord with a clean instrument, with consensus to test three additional indicators on immediate skin-to-skin care, applications to the umbilical cord, and content of postnatal care.
The Newborn Indicators TWG is initiating smaller working groups to review and reach consensus on newborn indicators for routine monitoring systems, with a focus on HMIS; indicators to measure newborn sepsis and treatment; and indicators to measure Kangaroo Mother Care.
Learn more: Access the meeting reports
- March 2015
- January 2014
- July 2013
- December 2012
- View the presentations from this meeting – click here
- June 2012
- October 2011
- December 2010
- January 2010
- April 2008