The UK aid funded Mobilising Access to Maternal Health Services in Zambia (MAMaZ) programme identified that social exclusion and gender-based violence were important factors in helping to explain poor maternal and newborn health outcomes in rural Zambia. In response, the programme adopted a mainstreaming strategy to ensure that both factors were fully addressed in MAMaZ interventions. This technical brief provides an overview of the programme’s implementation context and outlines the mainstreaming strategy adopted.
After two years of implementation, evidence generated by MAMaZ indicated that attitudes towards gender-based violence had changed at community level. The taboos that had concealed the problem had weakened, community members were more willing and likely to intervene if violence occurred, and there were fewer reported cases of wife beating. There was also more understanding at community level of the health and other impacts of social exclusion, and evidence that communities were starting tor reach out to and assist women who lacked social and other forms of support.
This technical brief summarises lessons learned and the implications for policy makers and future programmes.