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

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

The Context

Poor quality stops women from seeking care and coming to facilities for delivery, family planning and other reproductive health services. This impacts the health of women and their families and decreases the demand and timely entry to care in the future, by these same women, their relatives, and communities. Global increases in both need and demand for services have drawn attention to the quality shortcomings in healthcare facilities, particularly in urban areas. Focusing on people-centered quality is a promising approach that can improve health behaviors, care-seeker satisfaction and health outcomes. SPARQ is a 4.5-year project, focused on measuring and improving people-centered quality at the facility level.

The Project

SPARQ aims to understand women’s experiences of person-centered care and to develop and validate scales to measure person-centered care for childbirth (including delivery), family planning and post-abortion care in the Kenyan and Indian context. We seek to understand provider and facility-level factors influencing person-centered care. In Kenya, we work in seven public facilities in and around Nairobi county, partnering with Jacaranda Health and Innovations for Poverty Action, focused on delivery and family planning. The SPARQ post-abortion care work is conducted in collaboration with Marie Stopes International.

In India, we have partnered with the Public Health Foundation of India and Population Services International to conduct the delivery-focused person-centered care work across nine public facilities in the Uttar Pradesh (UP) region. SPARQ will additionally implement family planning focused PCC activities as part of an existing Population Services International intervention being rolled out across UP. Post-abortion care work is being done in collaboration with the Public Health Foundation of India. We are also collaborating with Community Empowerment Lab to examine the proximate determinants of high-quality maternity care in public facilities across UP. The results of these studies across both countries enable us to understand and measure person-centered care for childbirth, family planning and post-abortion care and to inform the development of interventions aimed to improve women’s experiences during care at the facility. 

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


Development of a tool to measure person-centered maternity care in developing settings: validation in a rural and urban Kenyan population

Advancing a conceptual model to improve maternal health quality: The Person-Centered Care Framework for Reproductive Health Equity

Putting women at the center: a review of Indian policy to address person-centered care in maternal and newborn health, family planning and abortion

Where women go to deliver: understanding the changing landscape of childbirth in Africa and Asia

Measuring Person-centered Maternal Health Care

Person-Centered Scales

This scale and guide are designed to specifically understand the quality of Person-Centered Maternity Care (PCMC) that a woman receives during her childbirth experience.

PCMC Guide

This scale and guide provides detailed instructions for how to administer this validated Person-Centered Family Planning (PCFP) care scale, including how to ask questions, state response options, and score the items included in the scale.

PCFP Guide


Our People

Our Partners