Communities in Action: Improving Quality in Service Delivery for Enhanced Wellbeing of Children in Ethiopia | USAID Health Care Improvement Portal
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Communities in Action: Improving Quality in Service Delivery for Enhanced Wellbeing of Children in Ethiopia

Save the Children Federation, Inc.
Organization: USAID Health Care Improvement Project/URC

Topics: Building QI capacity in OVC implementers, Coordination of OVC care, OVC services, Orphans and vulnerable children

Region and Country: Ethiopia

National OVC Task Force | Federal Ministry of Health (HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office) | Federal Ministry of Women’s Affairs | USAID

Lessons learned from programs serving orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) affected by HIV/AIDS have revealed the need to improve quality in OVC services and to strengthen harmonization across partners around the questions: How can our programs make a measurable difference in children’s well-being? What are the range of essential actions that we all agree need to be part of a service to best to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on children and families, in the pursuit of efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability?

Several countries in sub-Saharan Africa have joined together in the quest for improving quality of services, through the USAID-funded Care that Counts Initiative. These countries are engaged in applying the “science of improvement” to OVC services by 1) defining quality using service standards, 2) organizing for improvement at the point of service delivery; 3) and gathering evidence on the draft service standards that can be shared across countries. 
This case study highlights how Save the Children, as the leading organization of the USAID-funded Positive Change, Children, Communities and Care Program, together with local non-governmental organizations, and community-based organizations, applied the science of improvement to pilot test the draft service standards.   It highlights the key findings and lessons learned from the quality improvement pilot project implemented in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia from February 2008 to March 2009. The data provided in this case study provide insight into the way groups at the point of service delivery are able to internalize quality and utilize quality improvement methods to achieve results–results that are seen not only at the level of the organization, but also at that of the child. 
A companion case study, Applying the Science of Improvement to Achieving Quality Care for Vulnerable Children in Ethiopia, also prepared by the USAID Health Care Improvement Project and Save the Children, describes the design and organization of the pilot of draft service standards and the tools used to document and measure results from community level improvement activities.