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Formative Evaluation of Canada's Contribution to the G8 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Initiative (Muskoka Initiative)

Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), Canada
Field of Expertise:
Health Service Delivery; PHC/MNCH/RH/Nutrition/W&S; Reproductive Health / Maternal health / newborn health
Narrative description of project:
At the 2010 G8 Summit in Muskoka, Canada, the Canadian Government committed to spending C$2.85 billion over five years to contribute to the achievement of the 4th and 5th Millennium Development Goals on maternal and child health in low- and middle-income countries. The commitment included funding of C$1.75 billion for ongoing programmes and C$1.1 billion of additional spending. Together, the projects funded from these two envelopes are Canada's contribution to the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. Newly committed funds were primarily allocated to programming in ten focus countries with high rates of maternal and child mortality: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan and Tanzania.
In October 2014, DFATD contracted hera to conduct a mid-term evaluation of Canadian programming under the entire C$2.85 billion envelope of which around 90 percent had already been disbursed. The objectives of the evaluation were:
- to review the relevance and performance of Canada's contribution to the MNCH Initiative in order to fulfil reporting and accountability requirements and improve the implementation of the Initiative;
- to provide DFATD with relevant information for future international development programming on MNCH; and
- to assess progress to date, learn about good practices and areas for improvement and adjust programming.
New funding for a second five-year investment of C$ 3.5 billion in international maternal, newborn and child health programming had already been announced by the Canadian Prime Minister in May 2014.
Description of services provided:
hera mobilised a core team of two maternal and child health experts supported by national consultants in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Ethiopia and by other hera partners for specific country programme reviews. The team reviewed a sample of 73 out of the total of 351 projects funded under the initiative, conducted 76 key informant interviews, a Theory of Change evaluation workshop with Canadian implementing partners, and on-site project reviews in Bangladesh, Tanzania and South Sudan.
The evaluation report was published by Global Affairs Canada in May 2016 and presented in a conference hosted by DFATD that reached an audience of about 120 Canadians working in international development.