DAI Team and Indonesian Government Launch USAID Program to Spur Reductions in Maternal and Newborn Mortality

January 30, 2018

Indonesia’s maternal and newborn mortality rates remain stubbornly higher than in neighboring countries-this despite Indonesia’s fast-rising economic power and substantial development in the past 15 years, according to the World Health Organization and National Institutes of Health. Approximately 90,000 newborns or new mothers die each year in Indonesia. In response, DAI, IntraHealth International, and our partners have launched Jalin—a five-year program that shifts the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s support as a development partner from funding the implementation of interventions to facilitating and catalyzing improvements in maternal and newborn health.

DAI-News----Jalin-pic.jpgBidan Tatik, a midwife in Donomulyo Village, East Java, Indonesia on a house call to check a newborn in her village. Photo: Syane Luntungan, Jhpiego.

The Jalin project will target West Java, Central Java, East Java, Banten, North Sumatra, and South Sulawesi-Indonesia’s most populous provinces-as well as communities in Eastern Indonesia. Led by Chief of Party Michelle Folsom, the Jalin team—in cooperation with Indonesia’s Ministry of Health-will facilitate and support partnerships across a variety of stakeholders to catalyze local solutions; leverage public and private financing; and increase the pace at which good quality local evidence is made widely available and utilized. Jalin will use co-creation processes to identify, incubate, and implement localized solutions to address barriers and enhance opportunities to improve maternal and newborn survival rates, and focus on strengthening domestic resource mobilization to direct funds toward locally developed solutions.

“This is a unique assistance program. Jalin, which means intertwined in Bahasa Indonesia, is all about partnerships and will bring together diverse public and private sector stakeholders to co-define, co-create, and co-finance sustainable and scalable local solutions to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes,” said Folsom.

DAI’s Jalin consortium, based in Jakarta, includes:

  • IntraHealth—a DAI strategic affiliate with particular expertise in health systems strengthening and health workforce development.

  • Vital Strategies—a global leader in vital statistics and social autopsy.

  • MarketShare Associates—a woman-owned business firm with expertise in integrating gender and pro-poor inclusion strategies.

“DAI has a solid record of achievement across many sectors in Indonesia,” said Christopher LeGrand, president of DAI Global Health. “We have put together a really creative team for this forward-thinking initiative, and as a team we are eager to get to work with our government partners.”

Parlaying Indonesia’s Development Gains

Based on a recent Evidence Summit, USAID identified six technical focus areas likely to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes: quality of care, referral systems, local governance, financial protection, defining and reaching the poorest and most vulnerable, and evidence utilization. Jalin will explore these and other areas to accelerate progress and foster the uptake and expansion of successful efforts.

The Right Combination

DAI’s expatriate and local national staff—many of whom have worked in Indonesia for decades—have delivered innovative solutions in areas including natural resources management, agricultural development, water and sanitation, and governance. For Jalin, DAI will draw from the experience of programs such as USAID’s Indonesia Urban Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (IUWASH) project, which employs tools and systems to identify and deliver results for the most vulnerable. IUWASH uses data from the Social Protection Program dataset and the Village Potential Survey, for example, to identify areas with the highest density of poor and women-headed households, thereby maximizing impact in those groups.

In Indonesia DAI is also currently implementing Adaptasi Perubahan Iklim dan Ketangguhan (or Climate Change Adaption and Resilience), the Mitra Kunci Initiative workforce development program, the ASEAN-U.S. Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development and Security, and the Preparedness and Response Project.

DAI’s interdisciplinary consortium brings to Jalin rich experience and fresh perspectives. IntraHealth will deliver technical health system and services leadership using data-driven approaches such as those it has applied to improve maternal and newborn health care by frontline health workers in India and strengthen the medical referral system in the West Bank. Vital Strategies will research vital statistics to inform Jalin activities, as it currently does with Indonesia’s Ministry of Health through the Bloomberg Data for Health initiative. MarketShare Associates will ensure gender integration and provide additional assistance in targeting the most vulnerable populations.

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