Consensus–based approach to develop a measurement framework and identify a core set of indicators to track implementation and progress towards effective coverage of facility–based Kangaroo Mother Care

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Background As efforts to scale up the delivery of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) in facilities are increasing, a standardized approach to measure implementation and progress towards effective coverage is needed. Here, we describe a consensus–based approach to develop a measurement framework and identify a core set of indicators for monitoring facility–based KMC that would be feasible to measure within existing systems.

Methods The KMC measurement framework and core list of indicators were developed through: 1) scoping exercise to identify potential indicators through literature review and requests from researchers and program implementers; and 2) face–to– face consultations with KMC and measurement experts working at country and global levels to review candidate indicators and finalize selection and definitions.

Results The KMC measurement framework includes two main components: 1) service readiness, based on the WHO building blocks framework; and 2) service delivery action sequence covering identification, service initiation, continuation to discharge, and follow–up to graduation. Consensus was reached on 10 core indicators for KMC, which were organized according to the measurement framework. We identified 4 service readiness indicators, capturing national level policy for KMC, availability of KMC indicators in HMIS, costed operational plans for KMC and availability of KMC services at health facilities with inpatient maternity services. Six indicators were defined for service delivery, including weighing of babies at birth, identification of those ≤2000 g, initiation of facility–based KMC, monitoring the quality of KMC, status of babies at discharge from the facility and levels of follow–up (according to country–specific protocol).

Conclusions These core KMC indicators, identified with input from a wide range of global and country–level KMC and measurement experts, can aid efforts to strengthen monitoring systems and facilitate global tracking of KMC implementation. As data collection systems advance, we encourage program managers and evaluators to document their experiences using this framework to measure progress and allow indicator refinement, with the overall aim of working towards sustainable, country– led data systems.

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