Undertaking a complex evaluation of safe motherhood in rural Burkina Faso


Corresponding Author Prof. Wendy J. Graham, Immpact, Health Sciences Building, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, Scotland, UK. Tel.: +44 1224 555850; Fax: +44 1224 555704; E-mail: w.graham@abdn.ac.uk


Evaluations of composite health interventions, such as those attempting to make motherhood safer, are by definition complex, but nevertheless regarded as essential to informing progress in global health. This paper introduces a series of reports which set out the basis of Family Care International’s Skilled Care Initiative in rural Burkina Faso, go on to describe strategies and methods for evaluating it, and present evaluation findings in terms of pregnancy outcomes, utilisation and effects of the intervention and economics. Although there were encouraging findings, no ‘magic bullets’ emerged from these studies, illustrating the reality that sustained and increasing resources are needed to achieve safe motherhood for all. There is no cheap or short-cut solution.