Evaluation of the Leadership Development For Mobilizing Reproductive Health Program

Each day, approximately 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. The Institute of International Education (IIE) West Coast Center implemented the Leadership Development for Mobilizing Reproductive Health Program (LDM). In support of organizations looking to empower community leaders to change policy and save women’s lives. The program developed and sustained over 1,200 leaders working on systemic improvements in family planning and reproductive health services in Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Between May 2010 and June 2011, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation partnered with NYU Wagner researchers to evaluate the LDM program. Using Participatory Action Research methodologies, this evaluation examined the impact of the program on improving health outcomes for vulnerable people between 2006-2011. 

 The research found that:

  • Fostering collaboration and networks has critical importance, particularly across people from different fields, were essential for making systemic improvements for the health of vulnerable women, youth, and families.
  • The LDM program’s investment in leadership shaped and supported a critical core of well-trained leaders capable of advancing effective change at the individual, organizational and community levels.
  • The leadership development opportunities offered by LDM increased leaders’ confidence, capacity, and collaborations.
  • LDM’s bottom-up approach and flexibility allowed country managers and IIE staff to adapt the program to each country’s context and needs.
  • Leaders and stakeholders described a common challenge in the lack of strategies and mechanisms to document Fellows’ work.

The Executive Summary provides information on each country’s program; evaluations of its effectiveness at the individual, organizational, and systems levels; insights into program implementation; reflections on the evaluation methodology; and lessons learned and best practices.