Programme reporting standards for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Posted by Maria Codina on February 15, 2018 at 9:39 am


Adequate and transparent reporting about programme processes is key to understanding programme impact, and such reporting can also serve as an invaluable guide for successful replication and scale-up (1). However, the reality is that many sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (SRMNCAH) programmes operate under complex, real-world conditions that often make it di cult to communicate clearly exactly what is being done, when, where, how and by whom in a timely and consistent manner (2). For example, a systematic review of comprehensive adolescent health programmes found that very few described their programme activities

and implementation processes, making it di cult to understand how results were achieved and how best to identify and replicate the successful components (3). The impact of many programmes, particularly those that are social and behavioural in nature, is also very much tied to the local context (e.g. sociocultural, socioeconomic, geographical, legal, political, health system) and to the processes of implementation, which may not be easy to describe (4, 5).

To assess the evidence on the effectiveness of interventions, expert groups require a better understanding of programme implementation and context. A standardized way of reporting on the implementation processes as well as contextual factors throughout the programme would allow for easier synthesis of this information, and facilitate communication between researchers and practitioners.

While guidelines have been developed to improve
the reporting of interventions and implementation studies, these guidelines were mostly developed to indicate what should be covered in peer-reviewed articles and do not encompass all relevant aspects
of programme processes. Although it is important to communicate findings through scientific publications, the traditional structure of a peer-reviewed article may not always permit description of contextual issues or implementation processes in sufficient detail for others to learn from or replicate their experiences.


Programme reporting standards (PRS) have been developed in the form of a checklist to guide the reporting of SRMNCAH programmes. The PRS checklist seeks to all the gaps mentioned in the Introduction by providing a list of key reporting items related to the development, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation processes of SRMNCAH programmes. By focusing specifically on the systematic reporting of these processes, the PRS highlights lessons learnt in the eld and helps to facilitate replication and scale-up.

These e orts are in line with the increased recognition that we need to understand not only the outcomes
(5, 6), but also what works and what does not work, what challenges can be expected during implementation and what actions might work to address these challenges.

This document presents version 1.0 of the PRS checklist (see pp. 7–11) and also provides an overview of the PRS and instructions on how to use it, including a detailed description of each section and item, and additional resources that can be used to support or complement the reporting process.


Read the “Programme reporting standards for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health”.

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