MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator

MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator leverages learning and evidence to tell a shared story and create broader impact in maternal, newborn, and child health; family planning/reproductive health; and nutrition.


The Challenge

Over the past three decades, the health status of women, newborns, and children has improved significantly. These gains, however, have not been equal across or within countries, and challenges remain. Globally, 287,000 mothers and 5 million children under age 5 still die each year, primarily in low- and middle-income countries and from preventable causes.

MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator is the “connector” of USAID’s MOMENTUM program, a flagship investment to accelerate improvements in maternal, newborn, and child health; family planning; and reproductive health. Through collaboration to integrate best practices and learning in local contexts in nearly 40 countries, MOMENTUM improves the reach of services and quality of care for women, children, and families within communities, at facilities, and throughout health systems. MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator harmonizes data capture and analysis, facilitates learning and adaptation, packages and shares synthesized knowledge, and tells the story of MOMENTUM’s investments and achievements. 

Our Approach

MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator serves an innovative role across four pillars: monitoring and measurement, knowledge management, adaptive learning, and strategic communications. We work to improve measurement of complex health topics, define and implement a learning agenda to provide MOMENTUM partners with the right information to make real-time changes and learn from each other, compile and share information that can inform action within and beyond MOMENTUM, and unify and amplify MOMENTUM’s messages.  

The project develops, tests, and adapts metrics for critical health topics, such as primary health care and patients’ experience of care in health facilities, and summarizes new global health measurement recommendations. We facilitate learning and adaptation on complex topics, such as the role of social accountability in respectful care, health systems strengthening responses to COVID-19, and new models of care for small and/or sick newborns. Our creative, user-friendly knowledge resources and interactive knowledge exchanges ensure that MOMENTUM is both informing and informed by the global health community, with a focus on expertise at the country level. Our communications platforms for sharing resources and insights tell the story of MOMENTUM’s mission and elevate voices of those implementing and affected by MOMENTUM’s work. 

PRB leads a dynamic team that includes JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc. and Ariadne Labs, the innovation center at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as core partners. Together, the team supports the MOMENTUM suite to build on existing evidence and best practices, introduce new ideas and approaches, and facilitate adaptive learning and management of interventions to improve the health of women and children. 


MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator website

MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator catalyzes engagement with and uptake of the latest learning in maternal, newborn, child, and reproductive health within and beyond the MOMENTUM programs.

Elizabeth Leahy Madsen,  Project Director and PRB Associate Vice President for International Programs


IDEA: Informing Decisionmakers to Act

By increasing the flow of accurate, understandable information about population, family planning, and reproductive health to policy audiences, IDEA enhances efforts carried out by civil society, the public sector, the development community, and donors.


With funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, IDEA—Informing Decisionmakers to Act—increases support among policy audiences for effective health and population programs around the world.

In implementing IDEA, PRB brings a fresh vision to policy communication. By increasing the flow of accurate, understandable information about population, family planning, and reproductive health to policy audiences, IDEA enhances efforts carried out by civil society, the public sector, the development community, and donors. IDEA develops materials on priority issues in cutting-edge formats; trains and supports media to influence policy change; builds the communications capacity of institutions, researchers, and advocates; and nurtures a community of policy champions.

To strengthen advocacy and communication targeted to decisionmakers, IDEA highlights these program activities:

  • Creating multimedia presentations to support family planning and reproductive health. IDEA engages decisionmakers in priority countries to develop state-of-the-art multimedia presentations, featuring Trendalyzer, thus broadening support and stimulating new commitment to family planning and reproductive health.
  • Reaching policymakers through improved media coverage. IDEA influences decisionmakers by training journalists to better understand population, family planning and reproductive health, and gender issues; sponsoring study tours and participation in conferences; and building networks and providing ongoing support for news stories. IDEA also works with journalism schools to strengthen future editors’ and reporters’ understanding of population and health issues.
  • Building capacity and nurturing new champions. IDEA broadens the knowledge and skills base of advocates about family planning and other key development issues—including gender, youth, and the environment. Key strategies include training researchers, program managers, and advocates in effectively communicating data and research to decisionmakers; sharing information through communities of practice; and live and online events that promote global dialogue.
  • Expanding user-friendly data resources. IDEA empowers advocates and decisionmakers through print and electronic information, highlighting the policy relevance of current data and research; the impact of population growth on development; and the links between reproductive health, gender, the environment, and youth.