Together with Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and local partners, we are co-designing a contextually adapted group antenatal (ANC) – postnatal care (PNC) service delivery model to support married, first-time parents below the age of 24 in Gazipur, Bangladesh. Currently, too few pregnant women living in Gazipur’s informal settlements receive the minimum number of ANC contacts recommended by the World Health Organisation, and many deliveries are neither attended by qualified professionals nor take place in health facilities.
Conventionally, ANC and PNC have been provided on a one-to-one basis. However, in recent years group care models have emerged as a promising approach to deliver care more effectively and efficiently during and after pregnancy. The group model helps to increase social support for pregnant women, building bonds between women and their care providers as well as increasing counselling information and duration. Between 2016–2019, Scope collaborated with MSH to design and implement a group ANC model in Uganda, Kenya, and Guatemala, using human-centered design (HCD) methods to customise the curriculum to the local cultural context.
In Healthy Women, Healthy Families and building upon our previous work, we will be partnering with BRAC in Bangladesh to work with young women and their families, health workers, local partners, and key community and systems actors to co-design a person-centred service model that bridges ANC to PNC in a peri-urban informal settlement. The new model will reflect women’s lived realities as well as provide experience and content that meets their needs. The process also involves husbands and other family members who often influence important care-seeking decisions during and after pregnancy. Based on our learning, we will develop recommendations on how to adapt the group model to different contexts.
As in our previous Group ANC work, Scope is using human-centered design to identify the needs and preferences of ANC/PNC clients and care providers. Using co-design methods, we will support MSH to refine, iterate, and test initial concepts and prototypes adapted to the local context. This will include exploring community-based service delivery models and the customisation of all relevant ANC/PNC materials, such as pictures cards as well as job and communication aids.
We will build our partners’ skills and knowledge in HCD mindsets and methods through our “learning-by-doing” approach throughout the design process. By institutionalising innovation in this way, partners are able to employ the same techniques in future programme designs to develop interventions that are both responsive to the local population’s needs and sustainable in the long term.