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Since the Health Results Innovation Trust Fund (HRITF) was created at the end of 2007, with generous support from the Governments of Norway and the United Kingdom, RBF has been helping improve access and quality of health services for women and children in the poorest countries. HRITF’s portfolio has grown from the first program in Afghanistan to 27 country programs around the world. We are happy to share this Progress Report which outlines the successes, challenges, and lessons learned over the past five years, as part of our ongoing commitment to transparency and improving development effectiveness. In particular, preliminary results from RBF programs in Afghanistan, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are very promising. Although the final results from the impact evaluations are still outstanding, we are excited to see the operational data of the programs showing improvements in coverage and quality of maternal and child health services across the different countries. The experience so far indicates that RBF approaches can help to strengthen core health systems, making them more accountable and delivering greater value for money, by shifting the focus from inputs to results.
Consistently monitoring program data has also enabled us to see variations in performance across facilities, regions and countries. This information is being used to make program adjustments to strengthen implementation and learn more about the factors that are influencing success or failure of programs in certain settings. For example, in Benin, implementation progress has been slower than in other countries. By constantly monitoring and adjusting this can be addressed. To better understand the behavioral, organizational and contextual changes that cause the effect of RBF programs, many of the country programs are now incorporating qualitative methods in program monitoring and evaluation. RBF programs in some cases have also helped to reduce the fragmentation of donor support, becoming an effective platform for partner collaboration and harmonization.
As the global RBF experience continues to grow, documenting and sharing knowledge has taken on even greater significance. In addition to developing tools for practitioners, such as the new Impact Evaluation Toolkit, we have embraced online platforms to make information, technical content, and lessons learned from programs under implementation more easily accessible. Please keep visiting www.rbfhealth.org to share your own work and learn more about the many events, videos, and tools that are supporting engagement and knowledge sharing across borders.