Creating a Global Legal and Policy Database and Document Repository: Challenges and Lessons Learned From the World Health Organization Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Policy Survey

Document Type : Short Communication

Authors

1 Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing, World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland

2 Universal Health Coverage - Life Course, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo

3 Department of Family, Health Promotion and Life Course, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC, USA

4 WHO European Office for Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, WHO Regional Office for Europe, Moscow, Russia

5 WHO Country Office for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

6 Department of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Ageing, WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, New Delhi, India

7 Division of Health Systems and Services, WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines

8 Department of Healthier Population, WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Cairo, Egypt

9 Institute on Inequalities in Global Health, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

10 Euro Health Group, Copenhagen, Denmark

11 Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA

12 Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland

13 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila, Manila, Philippines

Abstract

The World Health Organization (WHO) has collected information on policies on sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (SRMNCAH) over many years. Creating a global survey that works for every country context is a well-recognized challenge. A comprehensive SRMNCAH policy survey was conducted by WHO from August 2018 through May 2019. WHO regional and country offices coordinated with Ministries of Health and/or national institutions who completed the questionnaire. The survey was completed by 150 of 194 WHO Member States using an online platform that allowed for submission of national source documents. A validation of the responses for selected survey questions against content of the national source documents was conducted for 101 countries (67%) for the first time in the administration of the survey. Data validation draws attention to survey questions that may have been misunderstood or where there was a lot of missing data, but varying methods for validating survey responses against source documents and separate analysis of laws from policies and guidelines may have hindered the overall conclusions of this process. The SRMNCAH policy survey both provided a platform for countries to track their progress in adopting WHO recommendations in national SRMNCAH-related legislation, policies, guidelines and strategies and was used to create a global database and searchable document repository. The outputs of the SRMNCAH policy survey are resources whose importance will be enriched through policy dialogues and wide utilization. Lessons learned from the methodology used for this survey can help to improve future updates and inform similar efforts.

Keywords


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Articles in Press, Corrected Proof
Available Online from 06 November 2021
  • Receive Date: 20 April 2021
  • Revise Date: 25 October 2021
  • Accept Date: 03 November 2021