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Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

New: MCHbest strategies database for sample ESMs

Evidence Tools
MCHbest: Bank of Evidence-linked Strategies and Tools

The MCH Evidence Center is pleased to share Phase 1 of the MCHbest database: the Bank of Evidence-linked Strategies and Tools.

The database aggregates sample evidence-based/informed ("evidence-linked") strategies that can be used as-is or adapted to develop Evidence-based or informed Strategy Measures (ESMs) for each of the MCH National Performance Measures (NPMs). It's as easy as Ready, Set, Go. Read the following guidance and then access the strategies below.


Ready: Read About the Database

Comprehensive Tool. This new tool addresses the three components of the MCH Evidence project:

  1. Evidence Base. It links the evidence to concrete strategies (interventions) that can be used by Title V programs to address their MCH priorities.
  2. Structured Planning Process. It provides suggestions for measurement of your strategies (interventions) by providing sample Evidence-based/informed Strategy Measures (ESMs) as seen through a Results-Based Accountability framework.
  3. Title V Implementation Tools. It provides information on additional MCH resources to support specific strategies.

Expanding Strategies. Check back often as we add new strategies to the database:

  • Phase 1 (available now). We present 85 strategies that are most based in the scientific evidence. Note that often the strategies that are most based in the evidence are often those that are more clinical in nature. We have given examples on how to adapt these strategies in the Sample ESM section. In addition, please see the resource, The Role of Title V, for tips on how to adapt the strategy for work in your state or jurisdiction.
  • Phase 2 (coming Summer 2021). We will incorporate additional strategies based on promising practice and expert/consensus opinion. We will also be adding strategies pulled from other evidence-based sources.
  • Phase 3 (coming Fall 2021). We will add strategies based on programs showing promise in the field with a wide range of MCH population groups.

Acknowledgments. Many people were involved in the creation and review of this database. We would like to make acknowledgment of their tireless and insightful contributions.

Set: Learn How to Use the Database

Two Complemenatry Tools. Use this database in combination with: the ESM Development Guide. The guide provides the entire framework you need to develop strong ESMs, including:
  • An Overview of the Evidence Base. Understanding the evidence continuum, tools to ensure health equity, and ESM development tips.
  • A Structured Planning Process. A summary of the Results-Based Accountability (RBA) process you can use to develop and measure ESMs based on data.
  • Title V Implementation Tools. Tools from the MCH Library on social determinants of health and health equity.

Technical Package Approach. Strategies in the MCHbest database are based on the most current evidence and are presented in the Center for Disease Control and Preventtion's (CDC's) technical package approach — a simple way to link strategies to science. CDC’s former Director, Dr. Tom Frieden named technical packages as one of the six key components for effective public health program implementation:

“The most effective public health programs are based on an evidence-based technical package…A technical package of proven interventions sharpens and focuses what otherwise might be vague commitments to “action” by committing to implementation of specific interventions known to be effective.”

A technical package has three parts:

  • The strategy lays out the direction or actions to achieve the goal of preventing violence.
  • The approach includes the specific ways to advance the strategy. This can be accomplished through programs, policies, and practices.
  • The evidence for each of the approaches in preventing violence or its associated risk factors is included as the third component.

Strategic ESM Development. Strategy is required to develop strong ESMs. One must consider the eventual goal of the strategy, the data and need that the strategy will address, underlying/root causes, potential partners, barriers and competing factors, motivating factors along with intent to change behavior, and the needed scale for the strategy to work. One must also develop the strategy so that it's effective to the needed population groups, relates with social determinants of health, and advances health equity. All while fiting within the capacity and budget of the Title V program.

It's no surprise that measurable impact will take time. That's one reason why it's so important to develop ESMs strategically. The flexibility of ESMs is that they can be modified over time to continually impact NPMs in meaningful ways. By using these tools to develop meaningful, measurable, and moveable ESMs, we have the greatest chance of making significant change to the women, infants, children, adolescents, youth, and families we serve.

Go: Access Additional Tools

Additional Resources. To assist you in developing/strengthening ESMs, you may want to use:

Feedback and Suggest a Strategy: We Want To Hear from You

We are always looking for ways to improve the MCHbest database and to add to our collection of strategies. Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with us.

  • Feedback. Answer a few short questions to help us improve the database and strategies.
  • Suggest a Strategy. Do you have a strategy that you would like to add? Send us your ideas, and we'll investigate the evidence base to see how they might fit into MCHbest.

Find Evidence-Linked Strategies

You can access MCHbest strategies in three ways:

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.