Hand-in-hand: Accountability and Learning in USAID/Kenya's Family Health Programming
The USAID/Kenya and East Africa Family Health Program strives to support equitable Family Health services and contribute to the global goal to end preventable maternal and child deaths by 2030. 2017 proved to be a particularly difficult year for the program, when the Kenyan healthcare system was paralyzed by nation-wide doctors' strike and two nurses' strikes, bringing public healthcare services to a complete halt. The strike had a particularly devastating effect on the Family Health Program as many of its services are routinely provided through healthcare facility outpatient services.
Faced with such a challenge early into the implementation of a new strategy, the team decided to utilize the CLA framework to facilitate a rapid assessment of the impact of the strike, re-evaluate the strategy's feasibility, and decide on course-correction. Through convening Implementing Partners, the team worked diligently to establish a balanced environment where poor performance data will be utilized as a learning opportunity for course correction, yet ensure IPs still commit to catching up on missed targets. This forum created a sense of camaraderie among the entire group and encouraged the use of M&E for both learning and accountability. The application of this concept also enabled the team to turn a simple target-setting exercise into a continuous learning process and a way to describe what 'big-picture' success looks like in this program so that we can manage adaptively toward that goal.