West and Central Africa Regional Network Initiative

The Francophone West and Central Africa Region (WCA) includes, respectively, 9 and 6 countries with a quarter of Africa’s population (128 and 126 million); Anglophone West Africa adds another 222 million. Child and maternal mortality rates in WCA are the highest in the world, considerably higher than in the other sub-regions of Africa. Emergency and conflicts have disproportionally affected WCA including DR Congo, Central African Republic and Chad in Central Africa, and Mali, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

In order to find out more details on the Countdown to 2030 Initiatives in Africa, see the Countdown to 2030 Project brief.

RMNCH data to support policy and program development are available, mostly from surveys, and there is increasing demand for RMNCH analyses. However, institutional capacity for analysis is limited in almost all countries and few actors are working on evidence generation and capacity strengthening in the region. To address this gap, Countdown is establishing a regional consortium of research or statistical institutions and Ministries of Health with the goals of:

  • strengthening the evidence in support of RMNCAH and nutrition programs through multi-country studies
  • enhancing the capacity of country and regional institutions to conduct RMNCAH and nutrition related analyses and research and effectively communicate the findings to policy makers.

Participants from the first Countdown to 2030 workshop in WCA – Strengthening Analysis and Evidence for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH&N). Learn more about the workshop.


The initial aim is to establish a three-year initiative in partnership with national and regional institutions to conduct multi-country studies on RMNCAH & nutrition that generate evidence for policymaking and programs at the national, regional and global levels. The project will incorporate a strong capacity strengthening component and lead to the creation of a regional network of institutions linked with the Countdown to 2030 initiative. The centerpiece for 2017-2020 are three year-long rounds of analysis, evidence generation and communication with country and global institutions. The prototype for a round of analysis and communication is described in Figure 1.

General description of a one round of analysis and capacity strengthening

The analysis component uses data from household surveys (e.g. to assess the implementation status of the continuum of care and equity in the coverage of interventions), health facilities (DHIS2, facility assessments), and administrative data sources (workforce, financing etc.). Operational research data is integrated into the analysis, particularly to explain why certain changes happen or do not happen. As with other Countdown research and analysis, the focus is on coverage and equity, but with considerable attention for drivers of change. Subnational analysis is prioritized where possible and relevant. Co-funded by the Health Data Collaborative, the first workshop was held in Saly, Senegal from March 26-30, 2018.

Dissemination of health inequalities in Niger

In Niger, APHRC supported the implementation of in-country dissemination activities targeting relevant audiences, through a collaborative with Centre de Recherche Médicale et Sanitaire – Niger, Medical Care Development International, and Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar – Sénégal. The activities included: A factsheet presenting the results-French (Download) One policy brief...

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Countdown to 2030 – Regional Initiative to Strengthen the Analytical Capacity and Evidence for Nutrition in West Africa – Advanced Analytical Workshop

Dakar, Senegal June 10-14, 2019 The West and Central Africa Regional Initiative involves analytical workshops with intermediate phases for data compilation and analysis. The West African Health Organization (WAHO) has been leading the coordination of the WA initiative in collaboration with a consortium of institutions providing technical support. Year 2...

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Health facility data analysis: 3rd workshop

Dakar, Senegal May 13-16, 2019 The Countdown to 2030 regional initiative for West and Central Africa, led by the West African Health Organization in collaboration with the African Population Health Research Center (APHRC), teamed up with WHO and UNICEF to conduct its 3rd analysis workshop. The focus was on health...

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