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Options has a strong track record of working in Southern Africa. See below for examples of Options' work in the region.
Evidence, advocacy and accountability for maternal and
newborn survival, 2011–2016. Malawi is one of the six countries of the DFID-funded £19.5M
Evidence for Action (E4A) programme managed by Options, which is
also operating in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania. The E4A
programme is working to improve maternal and newborn outcomes, linking
evidence, advocacy and accountability. The programme is using and presenting
evidence to decision makers and advocates to generate political commitment, and
to strengthen accountability to create change and improve outcomes for mothers
Improving maternal and newborn health using results-based
financing initiatives, 2011–2014. Options is leading the
KfW and Norad-funded programme using results-based financing mechanisms to improve maternal and newborn health which is improving
the supply of maternal health services in the Eastern Central Zone by means of
performance-based contracts with Government and private health facilities, and
also increasing demand through the provision of cash transfers to pregnant
women. The programme is providing
international and local technical assistance to build the capacity of the
Ministry of Health and Reproductive Health Unit in implementing a results-based
financing approach. The programme has three principal components: immediate investments
in minor infrastructure and equipment for participating facilities to bring
them up to a minimum operating level; provision of financial rewards to
facility-based teams at both district level and below, and District Health
Management Teams; provision of a conditional cash transfer to women delivering
in an approved health facility.
- Maternal and Child Health Programme Design 2009–2010. Options was commissioned by KfW and NORAD to investigate the feasibility and propose a design for a programme to reduce maternal mortality in Malawi using the instrument of results-based financing (RBF), on behalf of the Norwegian and German governments. The programme will support the Government of Malawi in addressing MDGs 4 & 5 through the introduction of sustainable RBF mechanisms. Options reviewed the different RBF approaches and proposed an innovative design comprising three core components, covering both demand-side (cash transfers) and supply-side (contracting and quality) interventions. These components will be supported through immediate measures that will take the form of rapid investments to upgrade facility level buildings and equipment.
Review of Malawi's National AIDS Commission's Grants Facility. On behalf of DFID, Options reviewed the Grants Facility's impact, efficiency and contribution to the overall implementation of the NAC's Strategic Management Plan. The evaluation looked at the progress and successes as a financing mechanism and the results it had on the ground in combating the HIV & AIDS epidemic; challenges that remain and practical recommendations for funders and the NAC. In addition to undertaking a top-down approach to reviewing the successes and challenges of effective distribution of grants to a wide range of sectors, advising on means to strengthen the facility's operations and impact, and the NAC's documentation, monitoring, and reporting related to the grants facility; the review also took an innovative bottom-up approach to investigate whether the grants facility was responding adequately to the needs of the many civil society organisations who are working in prevention, care and impact mitigation of HIV and AIDS.
- Scoping HIV Programming. Options conducted Phase 1 of Catalytic HIV Prevention Support. This was a gap analysis of current and future HIV prevention funding in order to identify immediate prevention funding needs, define the scope for DFID’s support within a broad four-year framework, and assess capacity building support needed by CNCS (Mozambique’s NAC).
- Food Security and HIV & AIDS Technical Assistance. Options provided technical assistance on food security, vulnerability and issues relating to HIV and AIDS to Mozambique's PROAGRI II programme for SIDA. PROAGRI II is the second phase of a sectoral programme designed to improve the effectiveness of Mozambique’s public agricultural programmes and institutions in supporting environmentally sustainable equitable growth in rural areas. Options appraised the relevance, feasibility, cost effectiveness and sustainability of the programme's second phase, and identifying bottlenecks influencing implementation.
- Health Sector Reform. Options provided long-term technical assistance to the EC-funded Public Health Sectoral Support Programme. Options worked with senior managers in the National Department of Health to strengthen priority setting, support development of draft policies and evaluate the impact of national policies at provincial government level. Options also supported the Department of Health to initiate and develop a policy framework and guidelines for public private partnerships in procurement, management and transfer of health technology assets.
- Maternal Health Programme Design. Options designed the Maternal Health Catalytic Fund Programme of DFID’s support to the Ministry of Health’s strategy to scale up access to emergency obstetric care to address poor maternal health indicators. The programme aims to address bottlenecks in the sector and improve maternal health by supporting the ministry of Health and health services to implement reform.
- HIV and AIDS Programme Evaluation. Options also undertook the End of Project Evaluation of the 'Strengthening the HIV/AIDS Response in Zambia' (STARZ) which has been running since 2004. As well as assessing the programme’s impact, the evaluation also documented lessons learnt and developed case studies of success stories from the project and made recommendations for future DFID support to Zambia’s HIV and AIDS sub sector.