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Strengthening Systems for Better Health in Nepal


  • Nepal’s marginalized communities often lag behind others in reducing maternal and child mortality.
  • SSBH’s goal is to improve maternal, child, newborn, and reproductive health outcomes.
  • Data-driven planning and improved health system governance lead to more equitable health services.
The Challenge

While Nepal has successfully reduced overall mortality among mothers and children under five, there is still room for improvement in equitable delivery of quality maternal, child, newborn, and reproductive health services.

The Approach

Led by Abt, SSBH supports the Government of Nepal’s efforts to improve health outcomes by enhancing access to and quality of maternal, newborn, child health, and family-planning services, particularly for the country’s most marginalized and disadvantaged groups. In partnership with all levels of the Nepalese government—federal, provincial, municipal, district—and other health sector stakeholders, SSBH follows these principles:

Use data to refine and improve interventions. For example, SSBH supports health sector counterparts when they hold annual health review meetings to analyze data, determine performance ranking criteria for health facilities, identify gaps, and develop solutions.   

Emphasize gender equality and social inclusion. SSBH identifies and addresses social, economic, and geographic barriers to health care faced by women and marginalized communities.

Encourage private sector engagement. SSBH helps build private provider capacity to use approved clinical protocols, guidelines, and standards while strengthening government regulatory mechanisms. The Activity’s private sector assessments guide interventions and expand understanding of how the private sector can contribute to public health goals. 

Build health systems resiliency. SSBH launched the Health Emergency Response supplemental program to support Nepal’s COVID-19 response, including building sustainable capacity for reporting and use of real-time data, surveillance, testing, clinical case management cases, vaccination, and public education.

The Results

Since 2018, SSBH’s interventions have led to:

  • Increased capacity of health facilities to offer a full range of high-quality, client-centered health services, particularly in maternal, newborn, child health, and family planning
  • Expanded and improved coverage and reach of priority services for underserved populations
  • Improved governance through orientation of health oversight and management committees on their roles and responsibilities for service delivery and development of local guidelines and plans for monitoring, evaluation, and supervision
  • Increased capacity of managers and health care providers to address quality issues through evidence-driven mechanisms
  • Routine incorporation of community input on service availability and quality into local health services planning, budgeting, and budget-execution processes.