Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Research and development

Shaping the research agenda and stimulating the generation, translation and dissemination of valuable knowledge is one of the six WHO core functions.

The Department of Maternal. Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MCA) contributes to the fulfillment of this function in relation to informing the implementation of interventions for maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (MNCAH).

Research promoted and supported by the Department aims to inform policy, guide norms and standards and improve delivery strategies, relevant to the needs of pregnant women, children and adolescents. For research related to maternal and perinatal health the Department works closely with the Department of Reproductive Health and Research.

The focus is not only on identification of cost-effective interventions and delivery approaches, but as a member of the Implementation Research Platform (IRP, APHSR, HRP, TDR, MCH) also examine implementation factors that determine the success of scaling-up intervention packages and programmes, and how they can be applied in various contexts.

Specifically, the Department

  • Identifies research priorities for MNCAH and works with RHR, other departments and partners to promote and support their investigation, e.g. evidence for best ways of scaling up, and the most appropriate delivery channels;
  • Builds capacity for implementation research on MNCAH in regions and countries in partnership with ministries of health through leading institutes and collaborating centres;
  • Systematically reviews and assesses evidence on the effectiveness of interventions and delivery approaches, and uses and shares the knowledge base for formulation of policies, guidelines and tools for MNCAH.

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Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MCA)
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
1211 Geneva 27

Tel.: +41 22 791 3281
Fax: +41 22 791 4853