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A Community-Led Approach to Improve Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Nutrition in Blantyre District, Malawi Using Quality Improvement Methods
In 2012, the USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) and Malawi’s Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Welfare offered trainings on draft quality improvement (QI)standards for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and on QI methodology. After the training, OVC service providers in the northern part of Blantyre District, met and decided to pilot OVC standards in the area.
Fourteen representatives from this group formed a quality improvement team that agreed to prioritize improving early childhood development services after realizing that less than 600 of the 1300 vulnerable children they were supporting were enrolled in community-based childcare centers (CBCC).
After receiving classroom and on-site support from HCI, the team used quality improvement techniques to address the problem, gathering data to determine what to change about the CBCC system to improve attendance and to determine if the changes led to improvements in the children’s lives. This case study explores this topic.