Success Factors for Women’s and Children’s Health: Multisector Pathways to Progress


Understanding what works, and what does not, is important to support countries’ progress towards the MDGs and to inform post-2015 strategies. A three-year multidisciplinary, multi-country series of studies was coordinated by PMNCH, WHO, World Bank and the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, working closely with Ministries of Health, academic institutions and other partners. The objective was to understand how some countries accelerated progress to reduce preventable maternal and child deaths.

Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) making fast-track progress deploy strategies tailored to their unique context, challenges and strengths. While there is no standard formula, fast-track countries share strategies in progressing across three main areas to improve women’s and children’s health:

  • Multisector progress to address crucial health determinants
  • Catalytic strategies to maximize health outcomes
  • Guiding principles to align action and orient progress

Country teams from ten fast-track countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Lao PDR, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda and Viet Nam) have undertaken multistakeholder policy reviews of factors both within and outside the health sector that have contributed to reductions in maternal and child mortality.