Costed national implementation plan(s) for maternal, newborn, and child health

Costed national implementation plan(s) for maternal, newborn, and child health

Costed national implementation plan(s) for maternal, newborn, and child health

National plan for scaling up MNCH interventions is available and costed.

Global health experts agree that to reach every woman, newborn baby and child – particularly, to address the equity and quality gaps in care around the time of birth – requires country-led, data-driven processes to assess and sharpen national health plans (1). Scale-up of maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) interventions that are evidence-based and have been proven to improve health outcomes and survival are an important part of the achievement of the goals and targets set by the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) agenda to 2030, including achievement of universal health coverage (UHC) (2). UHC is central to achievement of all SDG targets, especially for the health and well-being of women and girls and children, as it recognizes the right to receive high-quality health services without incurring financial hardship and requires meeting the needs of women, girls and adolescents, including universal access to sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health (SRMNH) interventions and services (3). Making progress towards UHC is also the principal health policy goal in many countries.

Data Requirement(s):

This indicator should include the following three categories:

  • Yes = costed plan or plans to scale up MNCH interventions available at the national level
  • Partial = costed plan available for either maternal and newborn health or child health
  • No = no costed plan for MNCH available.

Commonly used data sources for global monitoring are collected via global policy surveys from World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) partners. Global databases include the Global Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MNCAH) Policy Indicator Survey maintained by WHO, routine monitoring data from UN organizations, and surveys administered to national or subnational government authorities by WHO (4,5). The surveys normally involve a questionnaire to regional offices to complete with respective ministries of health and other relevant stakeholders every two to three years. The focus on these surveys is whether or not a policy exists with costing information and the plan and current context and extent of implementation of MNCH interventions. Survey responses are validated by UN agencies at the country level and compiled by WHO.

Indicator definition and calculation: The WHO regional offices provide support for implementation of the Global MNCAH Policy Indicator Survey through country offices. Responses from each country are provided by the ministry of health and/or other national statistical offices through the WHO office in the country. WHO and UN agencies monitor this indicator through the Global MNCAH Policy Indicator Survey. More information on the indicators presented and policy survey tools are presented under:

This indicator reflects the governance context that is one of the drivers of change in intervention coverage along the implementation spectrum. It represents governance and leadership – one of the six “building blocks” in WHO’s health system framework “Everybody’s Business” (6). It also indicator reflects whether countries prioritize improved MNCH and reduction of mortality and morbidity. This indicator was introduced when few countries had any costed plans for MNCH as a tracer of government commitment. Currently, the majority of countries have these plans in place and the focus is moving towards effective, targeted and sustainable implementation plans to achieve and maintain the SDGs and UHC.

There is no end point described in the scale-up – for example, to reach UHC. This indicator does not measure implementation or the quality or feasibility of the costing and should therefore be interpreted and completed with other indicators. In addition, implementation may vary in subnational settings, which could be masked by only national-level data, especially in decentralized settings.

For more information on this indicator, see the MoNITOR indicator reference sheet, developed by the World Health Organization: Who-indicators (

access, policy, safe motherhood (SM), quality, health system strengthening (HSS)


  1. Dickson KE, Simen-Kapeu A, Kinney MV, Huicho L, Vesel L, Lackritz E, et al. Every Newborn: health-systems bottlenecks and strategies to accelerate scaleup in countries. Lancet. 2014;384(9941):438–54 (, accessed 22 October 2020).
  2. Sustainable Development Goals [website]. New York: United Nations; 2020 (, accessed 22 October 2020).
  3. Boerma T, Eozenou P, Evans D, Evans T, Kieny MP, Wagstaff A. Monitoring progress towards universal health coverage at country and global levels. PLoS Med. 2014;11(9):e1001731 (, accessed 22 October 2020).
  4. Maternity, newborn, child and adolescent health policy indicators. In: World Health Organization [website] (, accessed 22 October 2020).
  5. Countdown to 2030 [website] (, accessed 22 October 2020
  6. Everybody’s business – strengthening health systems to improve health outcomes: WHO’s framework for action. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2007 (, accessed 22 October 2020)

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