Central Asia Health System Strengthening project (CAHHS) - Qualitative and Gender Assessments
Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC)
CAHSS is a $31 million, 5-year project implemented by AKFC and co-funded by Global Affairs Canada. The project aims to strengthen health systems to improve the health of men and women in target areas of Central Asia, especially women of reproductive age, children under five and new-born infants. By the end of the project 662,681 people, including 380,778 women and 19,298 children under five, will have benefitted.
In July 2017, ResultsinHealth was asked to lead the design and analysis of a qualitative and gender assessment of the CAHSS project in four countries; Afghanistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Tajikistan. The objective of this assessment was to review the effects of CAHSS in project districts, document lessons learned and develop recommendations for gender equality integration into future health programming in Central Asia.
Data was gathered using document review, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. To ensure effective engagement and contribution of the participants, participatory approaches e.g. ranking and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) approaches were integrated into the FGDs. The framework for this study is adapted from Jhpiego’s Gender Analysis Tool Kit for Health Systems (2016) and includes five areas of inquiry:
- access to and control over resources,
- decision-making related to access and use of Maternal New-born and Child Health (MNCH) services,
- beliefs and perceptions around sexual and reproductive health practices and participation,
- practices and participation, and
- laws, policies, institutions and programs.
The data collected is then analysed using deductive coding, based on the gender assessment framework and thematic areas of enquiry. Through the three types of data analysis that were conducted simultaneously, RiH provided answers to the four overarching research questions and provided highlights about some of the similarities across countries, specificities and counter findings or anomalies, valuable for the future programmes of CAHSS.