Openness and Transparency

“Committing to openness and transparency so that we become a learning organisation. We will seek to learn from each other. We will share the things that go well, so they can be used by all. We will also be open and honest about our mistakes, so we can all learn and improve for the future.”

Sylvia Chopamba, Programme Director, St John International:

I am proud that the Mother and Baby Programme established in 2014/15 continues to deliver tangible benefits to mothers, fathers and babies in Malawi, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The programme reduces the incidence of maternal and new-born deaths through household visits providing advice and information about healthy behaviour. It illustrates the Order’s values of openness and transparency in its recent focus on using data to assess the impact that the programme has in the community and learning from that how to make it even better.

At the start of 2022, St John International introduced a new performance monitoring system to collect and store impact data from the programme in one place. The system, called “Nurture”, allows for real time performance management by providing monthly information on the adoption of healthy behaviour by participants. Programme managers and volunteers can see immediately whether the advice they are giving is changing what pregnant mothers and their families do and adapt their messaging if it is not working.

We have gathered evidence to show that the programme has made a positive change to the behaviour of women and men in the community, resulting in healthier maternal behaviour and better care of infants. We reached over 23,200 pregnant women, new mothers, and expectant and new fathers in 2022 – 120% of our target. This engagement has promoted healthier behaviour across 7 World Health Organisation identified maternal health indicators.

The proportion of women starting ante-natal care appointments in the first trimester of pregnancy is 47% among our participants, and only 27% among the general population. 85% of new mothers in our programme adopt family planning within 6 months, an improvement from 55% at the start of the programme. We know that these changes in behaviour will reduce maternal and infant mortality and will improve general population health. Nurture’s evidence-based approach to decision making within the programme also encourages peer-to-peer learning among participants.

When St John International and the four programme implementing countries came together in November 2022 for a five-day workshop, they reviewed and refreshed the programme’s operational Success Model manual. Frank and open exchanges about what did and didn’t work allowed us to draw lessons for the future of the programme and develop better tools to improve its impact.

You can read more about how we as #OneStJohn lived our values in our everyday work in 2022 by reading our new Annual Report.