SPARQ: Strengthening People-centered Accessibility, Respect, and Quality

The Strengthening People-centered Accessibility, Respect, and Quality (SPARQ) project is designed to improve the quality of maternal and reproductive health care for women in India and Kenya.

The use of hospitals for maternal and reproductive health services has grown enormously, but increased use is not leading to increased improvements – in mortality reduction, family planning use or continuation, or improved morbidity rates – as models predicted.  Rather, it appears that poor person-centered care may be leading to stalls in improvements, despite increased access and improved technical quality.

Partnering with Public Health Foundation of India, Jacaranda Health, and Mott MacDonald, SPARQ aims to understand what is failing from the perspectives of clients; why it's failing from the perspective of providers and managers; and to address the issues in ways that are measureable, affordable, and replicable.

SPARQ incorporates two related but independent streams of work that aim to improve the quality of people-centered care by identifying strategies that can be replicated and scaled up in local contexts and generalized to larger locales.

Project activities include:

  • Develop and validate culturally appropriate measures of person-centered quality for delivery, family planning, and abortion services;
  • Collect baseline person-centered measures of women's experiences associated with seeking and receiving healthcare;
  • Conduct facility-level observations and in-depth interviews with women and providers to understand barriers to care; and,
  • Implement, monitor, and evaluate quality improvement cycles to determine which locally generated initiatives can be adapted and scaled to other facilities

With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the project focuses on quality measurement and improvement for facility-based maternal and newborn health and family planning; while funding from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation supports work on quality measurement and improvement for facility-based family planning and abortion.

Questions about the program should be directed to Program Manager, Sun Cotter.