The mid- term evaluation report "Mekong regional health support project"

 

The Mekong Regional Health Support Project (MRHSP), a program sponsored by the World Bank in Vietnam for the Ministry of Health (MOH), is being implemented in all 13 provinces/cities in the Mekong Delta Region.The overall objective of the project is to support capacity building of the health system in Mekong Delta region, increase accessibility and use of health services quality with reasonable expenses for the people, especially the poor, and also meet the demands  of socio-economic development of the region.
The project has been implemented within 5 years (2006-2011),and includes five components:
•    Component A: Health  care supports for the Poor and Near-poor
•    Component B: Improving the Curative Care Quality and Capacity
•    Component C: Support to Preventive Health
•    Component D: Human Resources Development
•    Component E: Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation
After 3 years of project implementation, in June 2009, the Center for Community Health Research and Development (CCRD), was invited to conduct a mid-term evaluation to (1) assess the progress of project implementation, (2) identify the main factors affecting the effective implementation of project activities and (3) draw key lessons for adjusting indicators to suit  the actual situation and implement projects to achieve quality and best performance.

Methods
The research used qualitative and quantitative methods to collect data for the mid-term survey. Specifically, the survey was implemented in 7 out of 13 cities and provinces of the project : Long An, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Dong Thap, Soc Trang, Ca Mau and Can Tho.
There were 82 in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with 210 individuals  of the target groups: managers of the 9 Central Project Management Units (CPMUs)( including the manager of 8 CPMUs and Can Tho University of Medicine and Pharmacy); managers of the Health Insurance agency and the Health Care Funds for the Poor; managers of the provincial general hospital; managers of the provincial preventive medicine center; patients who are treated in hospital; people in the community and people who are the main beneficiaries of the project. In addition, CCRD also collected quantitative information through semi structured questionnaires for  patients currently treated in  provincial  hospitals and Can Tho Central General hospital; collected and analyzed secondary data through the checklist of medical equipment for the provincial general hospitals, checklist of medical equipment for the provincial preventive medicine center, checklist of basic  data related to the poor and near poor,and household provincial project mid-term progress reports.

Conclusion
Overall, the project implementation  after nearly 3 years was very positive. Even though the project had only started in provinces since mid 2008, the progress of disbursement was greatly accelerated within a year. Coordinated activities of LPMUs began to be more effective and created a momentum for implementing project activities in a wide range and at a higher levels in the upcoming phases.
The project met and even exceeded most of the indicators, which were set  for the midterm survey.
Regarding the design aspect, this project is an example of the effect of improving national management and operations capacity.  With local consultancy resources, the project had capacity to manage the implementation of a complicated project  on a large scale. Moreover, In a timely manner ,it could  completely and objectively evaluate the specific results and ratios of the project as well as document concrete experiences for improving the project efficacy in the next phase.

 

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