208633 Road Map for Improving Quality of Programs for Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:10 AM

Marie Eve Hammink, MEd; MHS , Health Care Improvement Project, University Research Co. LLC, Bethesda, MD
Lynne Miller Franco, PhD , Health Care Improvement Project, University Research Co. LLC, Bethesda, MD
Samantha Dovey, BA , Health Care Improvement Project, University Research Co. LLC, Bethesda, MD
Dorcas Amolo, MA , Health Care Improvement Project, University Research Co. LLC, Nairobi, Kenya
Renee DeMarco, MA , Office of Sustainable Development, USAID Africa Bureau, Washington DC, DC
Jane Calder, MSW , PACT/Tanzania, Dar Es Salam, Tanzania
Kendra Blackett-Dibinga, MA , SAVE the Children, Washington DC, DC
William Fleming, MPHS , Christian Children Fund, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Lucy Steinitz, PhD , Africa Region, Family Health International, Windhoek, Namibia

Evidence from Africa and Asia highlights the need for quality improvement (QI) for programs serving orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). Several countries in sub-Saharan Africa are now using a strategic framework based on modern QI methods to guide their QI efforts.

Analysis Design and Methods

In 2006, stakeholders from local NGOs, international NGOs, policy makers, and donors from 16 sub-Saharan countries launched the Regional “Care that Counts” QI Initiative for OVC programs. The “Initiative” developed a network of committed QI OVC experts through regional skill-building workshops; monthly conference calls; using the web to share QI experiences and organizing exchange visits. Drawing on their shared experience, this community of champions has developed and refined a Road Map to QI for OVC.


The Road Map delineates steps to improve OVC program quality. Building constituencies and commitment is the first step, along with identifying champions and developing a QI planning structure. Next, stakeholders across organizations, through a consensus-building process, define quality using service standards. Finally, the Road Map explains how local implementers can use QI principles: team work, client-focus, process orientation, and using data. QI teams of local service providers, children and guardians meet regularly to review performance and promote changes to improve quality. Positive and evidence-based changes are shared across organizations during structured learning sessions. Applying QI methods has resulted in increased child access to health services: increased referrals to HIV/AIDS testing and increased immunization rates.


QI processes help ensure standards are systematically applied at national and organizational levels

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to: •List and explain the key steps needed to improve quality of services for vulnerable children . •Develop a strategic work plan to support Quality improvement for vulnerable children programs at national level. •Explain how modern quality improvement principles can be applied to community-based services.

Keywords: Children, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I led the Quality Assurance Project and Health Care Improvement project team working on OVCs for 2 years (through March 2008), and continue to work on these activities on a part time basis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.