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



There has been significant progress worldwide towards Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5a—to improve maternal and child health. Since 1990, maternal and child mortality rates have both reduced by around 50%, but the numbers of preventable deaths are still unacceptably high.

We know about the leading causes of preventable maternal and child mortality around the world and effective interventions to address them. We know less about why some countries at similar levels of income are better than others at preventing maternal and child deaths, or what strategies they have used to accelerate progress.

The Success Factors for Women’s and Children’s Health Study aims to answer these questions. The Success Factors studies include: statistical and econometric analyses of data from 142 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) over 20 years; Boolean, qualitative comparative analysis (QCA); a literature review; and country-specific policy reviews in 10 fast-track countries for MDGs 4 and 5a.

In each of the ten fast-track countries, country teams have undertaken multistakeholder policy reviews of factors both within and outside the health sector that have contributed to reductions in maternal and child mortality.

The Success Factors for Women’s and Children’s Health is a three-year multidisciplinary, multi-country series of studies 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.