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Moving Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Evidence into Policy in West Africa

This project brings together and supports the uptake of maternal and child health research evidence into policies and practices in West Africa. A part of the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa program, the project's impact will be felt at the national and regional levels in Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal.

Knowledge and action needed
While health systems research has informed improvements in maternal, newborn, and child health globally, there are critical knowledge and implementation gaps in West Africa. Preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths, illnesses, and disabilities continue to burden countries in the region.

Partnerships to prevent death, illness, and disability
West African governments, the international community, and the Government of Canada are committed to improving maternal, newborn, and child health. The West African Health Organisation (WAHO) will work with implementation research teams (IRTs) to provide evidence for regional and national decision-makers.

Their work will complement the IRTs' efforts to integrate the evidence they generate into policies and practice. WAHO will foster research uptake in policies and practices by building decision-makers' understanding and promoting more collaboration with researchers.

Program focuses on maternal and child health
Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa is a CA$36 million, seven-year research program that seeks to assist countries in resolving pressing health systems challenges to improve maternal, newborn, and child health. It is designed to support
-two independent policy organizations (consortia)
-approximately 20 implementation research teams.

This project supports the West African Health Organisation to be a pivotal health-policy research organization in West Africa. WAHO will leverage evidence generated by the IRTs and other researchers in its policy advisory work.

The program is a collaboration between Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the International Development Research Centre.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
68 months
IDRC Officer
Nafissatou Diop
Total Funding
CA$ 2,554,453.00
South of Sahara
Global Health
Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa
Institution Country
Burkina Faso
Project Leader
Issiaka Sombie
Organisation Ouest Africaine de la Santé



Sub-regional efforts to support evidence-informed policymaking : the case of the West African Health Organization (WAHO)


Situational analysis of knowledge transfer and exchange for mother, newborn and child health in West Africa


A review of the process of knowledge transfer and use of evidence in reproductive and child health in Ghana

Training Materials

Health systems and MNCH outcomes in West Africa : a study of conducive and limiting health systems : factors to improving maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) in West Africa