Evaluating regional workshops on strengthening the capacity of healthcare professional associations to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5.

Document Type



Community Health Sciences; Office of the Provost



In 2007-2008, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), Geneva, organized capacity-building workshops in Malawi, Burkina Faso, and Bangladesh. Their aim was to strengthen the role of healthcare professional associations (HCPAs) in national reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) planning and programs. The present cross-sectional study evaluated the outcomes of these regional workshops.


In 2010, a structured survey, telephone interviews of workshop participants, and a document review were used to analyze the impact of these workshops.


Overall, HCPAs in only 2 of the 17 participating countries (11.8%) were able to increase their impact on RMNCH planning. Although all countries developed action plans, 15 (88.2%) were unable to fully implement them despite increased interactions among HCPAs and with the Ministry of Health (MOH). Nine countries (52.9%) implemented their action plans partly. Engagement of the MOH emerged as a strong indicator of HCPA contribution toward RMNCH planning.


Strong and sustained follow-up by PMNCH, a clear sense of ownership by HCPAs, designated staff, and financial resources emerged as important determinants for the implementation of action plans. These workshops were generally successful in both encouraging HCPA collaboration and marching toward Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5.


International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics