What is this document?

This module aims to make stakeholder and community engagement an integral part of quality improvement (QI) initiatives and suggests approaches to make stakeholder and community engagement comprehensive (engagement throughout the maternal, newborn and child health QI planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation cycle) and meaningful (supporting efficiency as well as partnership building and empowerment goals).

Who is it for?

It is meant for policy-makers and programme implementers who are interested in and/or (aim to) initiate and support stakeholder and community engagement in QI initiatives in maternal, newborn and child health across different levels. More specifically, it provides operational guidance to QI teams.

How should it be used?

Users of this module can use it to learn about the following topics:

  • Why there is a need for stakeholder and community engagement in QI initiatives.
  • Who should be engaged in QI initiatives, why and how, and what can be done to build and strengthen QI partnerships.
  • How to conduct collaborative quality assessments.
  • How to develop information, communication and advocacy strategies.
  • What can be learned from stakeholder and community engagement.

These topics are addressed in four sections, each providing practical guidance. At the end of each section, key references and tools are presented that may be consulted by readers who wish to access examples and more detailed “how to” guidance.

Structure of the module

Fig. 1 presents the structure of the module. The practical parts of the module (Sections 2, 3 and 4) align with the start-up and ongoing activities described in the implementation guide for facility, district and national levels.

Fig 1. Structure of the module

Where available, we have indicated existing resources or tools developed by partners of the Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (QOC Network) or other organizations. These tools were identified in the mapping exercise and may be of use to the reader when moving forward in implementation. Their inclusion in the module is not an endorsement of the tools by WHO and UNICEF. Further details of the mapping can be found at this link: