Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Network Initiative

The Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESA) includes about half of the population in sub-Saharan Africa, and fertility levels remain high, particularly in East African countries. Child and maternal mortality rates in the region came down in the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) era, but a substantial challenge remains in all ESA countries, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets are within reach only if robust evidence drives the implementation of appropriate, effective and efficient interventions, and responds to complementary challenges related to adolescent sexual and reproductive health, equity in access to quality health services and gender equality. This includes, but is not limited to, past fertility trends that have resulted in a large cohort of adolescents in need of services.

In order to find out more details on the Countdown to 2030 Initiatives in Africa, see the Countdown to 2030 Project brief.

The new CD2030 ESA regional network is hosted by African Population Health Research Center, and has the following main goals:

  • strengthening the evidence in support of RMNCAH and nutrition programs through multi-country studies
  • enhancing the capacity of country and regional institutions to conduct RMNCAH and nutrition related analyses and research and effectively communicate the findings to policy makers.


The initial aim is to establish a three-year initiative in partnership with national and regional institutions to conduct multi-country studies on RMNCAH & nutrition that generate evidence for policymaking and programs at the national, regional and global levels. The project will incorporate a strong capacity strengthening component and lead to the creation of a regional network of institutions linked with the Countdown to 2030 initiative. The centerpiece for 2017-2020 are three year-long rounds of analysis, evidence generation and communication with country and global institutions. The prototype for a round of analysis and communication is described in Figure 1.

General description of a one round of analysis and capacity strengthening

The analysis component uses data from household surveys (e.g. to assess the implementation status of the continuum of care and equity in the coverage of interventions), health facilities (DHIS2, facility assessments), and administrative data sources (workforce, financing etc.). Operational research data is integrated into the analysis, particularly to explain why certain changes happen or do not happen. As with other Countdown research and analysis, the focus is on coverage and equity, but with considerable attention for drivers of change. Subnational analysis is prioritized where possible and relevant. The first workshop was held in Nairobi, Kenya from November 27-December 1, 2017.

Zambia Mid-Term Review of Zambia National Health Sector Plan

A report of the midterm review for Zambia’s National Health Sector Plan (2017-2021) was published in March 2020, highlighting program-specific analyses, progress towards target indicators and synthesis on next steps. The analysis showed an overall positive picture in the first half of the NHSP with results including: Improvements in many...

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Generating statistics from health facility data: the state of routine health information systems in Eastern and Southern Africa

Health facility data are a critical source of local and continuous health statistics. Countries have introduced web-based information systems that facilitate data management, analysis, use and visualisation of health facility data. We explored data quality using national-level and subnational-level (mostly district) data for the period 2013–2017. The focus was on...

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Dissemination of health inequalities in Zambia

In Zambia, APHRC supported the implementation of in-country dissemination activities targeting relevant audiences, through a collaborative with Zambia’s Ministry of Health and the University of Zambia, School of Public Health The activities included: A factsheet presenting the results (Download) One policy brief based on the Countdown findings for Zambia (Download)...

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Dissemination of RMNCH analysis workshop results in Uganda

After two successful analysis workshops organized in November 2017 and July 2018 that brought together government officials and academics from ESA countries, APHRC has supported the dissemination and knowledge translation of the evidence generated further to the analysis workshops. In Uganda, APHRC supported the implementation of in-country dissemination activities targeting...

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Health facility data analysis: 3rd workshop

Naivasha, Kenya November 27-30, 2018 The Countdown to 2030 regional initiative for Eastern and Southern Africa, led by the African Population Health Research Center (APHRC), teamed up with WHO and UNICEF to conduct its 3rd analysis workshop in Naivasha, Kenya, November 27-30, 2018. The focus was on health facility data...

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