Spring 2020 Newsletter

African woman holding an infant
Photo: Karen Kasmauski/ MCSP


Dear Friends,

The world has changed since our last newsletter.
I trust that you are keeping safe and healthy and giving the best of yourselves in compassion and skills to the COVID-19 pandemic response at both family and professional levels.

We are pleased to share with you our spring newsletter, highlighting the following: 

  • An update on the Re-imagining TA Project
  • Our new LinkedIn group
  • Updates from the Task Force's Steering Committee
  • The Task Force Subgroups' 2020 priorities

Be on the lookout and responsive to requests for information, resources, and updates on COVID-19. 

Dyness Kasungami, Director of the Child Health Task Force 


In our ongoing effort to support the Ministries of Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Nigeria to use human-centered design to re-imagine technical assistance (TA) for MNCH and health systems strengthening, the Task Force and its design partner, Sonder, has made the following progress since our last update

Under the leadership of the Ministries of Health, both country project teams held the final integration workshop, which concluded an 18-month iterative process of interviews and co-creation workshops, using human-centered design. The integration workshops convened stakeholders to discuss the 12 design principles for good TA spread across four domains. Both project teams will share their outputs at a Task Force-wide webinar that will be scheduled in the near future.

The 4 domains of change to good technical assistance: Strengthen existing system and basic infrastructure; foster strong governance; cultivate collaboration; build trust

Participants at the Nigeria integration workshop, held on January 21-22, 2020:

Participant at the Nigeria integration workshop presents findings in front of group.

Participants sharing their work a the Nigeria integration workshop

Participants at the DRC integration workshop, held on March 4-6, 2020:

Participants at the DRC integration workshop

Group participant portrait from the DRC integration workshop

Read more about the project here.


 In response to members' requests, we have created a LinkedIn group for the Child Health Task Force. While our Secretariat team is small but mighty, we will continue to focus our communication efforts through the website and newsletter. We hope that by joining the LinkedIn group, you can show your affiliation with our global network and utilize it to share any current job announcements that you would normally request the Secretariat to send out.


On March 19, 2020, the Steering Committee (SC) held a teleconference and the full meeting minutes can be found here. We are starting a process of strengthening country engagement to operationalize our theme of support to countries. 

As part of this process, the SC recognizes the immediate threat of COVID-19 and urges all Task Force members to support countries to meet the needs of children for prevention and case management. To this end, the Secretariat sent out a request to members last week to indicate what resources and support you can offer as an organization or as an individual. If you have not had a chance to respond, please do so as soon as possible here

Building on this process, the Task Force will work with a few countries to: 

  1. support prioritizing key child health interventions for partners to collaborate on; 
  2. strengthen the national Child Health Technical Working Groups; and,
  3. promote country-to-country learning with the aim of strengthening implementation of comprehensive child health programs that accelerate achievement of the SDG targets. 

The process of engagement will involve country level roundtable discussions to agree on the priorities and meetings to share these priorities with a broader audience and disseminate the findings and products of the Re-imagining Technical Assistance Project in the DRC and Nigeria. Country selection and timelines will be agreed upon and shared as the process evolves.


humanitarian logoChild Health in Emergencies and Humanitarian Settings

Leadership: Nureyan Zunong (Save the Children) & Fouzia Shafique (UNICEF)
2020 Priorities: The subgroup would like to look into action-oriented task teams or tasks for the entire subgroup. The subgroup will also play an advisory role to the Global Health Cluster and review any strategy, plan, or guidance, to ensure a child focus is maintained where warranted.

Commodities logoCommodities for Newborn and Child Health

Leadership: Ken Legins (UNICEF) & Smita Kumar (USAID)
2020 Priorities: The co-chairs are focused on planning two meetings in 2020 that will set the agenda for the subgroup's work moving forward. The first meeting will be smaller with subgroup members and include strategic presentations. The co-chairs also plan to complete a quick landscape of newborn and child health commodities, the results of which would be presented at the meeting and identified gaps would dictate subgroup work stream discussions. The second meeting would be more global for later on in the year. 

Digital health and innovations iconDigital Health and Innovations

Leadership: Jeanne Koepsell (Save the Children) & Steve Ollis (JSI)
2020 Priorities: While there are other digital health global groups, sharing information that is pertinent to child health is still a useful value add of the subgroup. For 2020, the subgroup plans to hold a quarterly knowledge sharing webinar focused on child health topics and sharing focused digital information for child health in the newsletter. The co-chairs will also publicize meetings of other digital health global groups to subgroup members.

Expansion and Child Health package subgroupExpansion of the Child Health Package

Leadership: Seeking co-chairs
2020 Priorities: Identifying co-chairs will be the first priority for 2020. Additional priorities will be identified following the new leadership. One focus overall will be related to the dissemination of the Integration Position Paper to a few national Child Health Technical Working Groups and identifying actions and resources needed.  

Financing subgroup icon Financing and Resource Planning

Leadership: Outgoing-Ben Picillo (R4D) & Colin Gilmartin (MSH); Seeking co-chairs
2020 Priorities: Identifying co-chairs is an important priority for 2020. Highlighting financing and resource planning for child health (other than for specific diseases or special programs)is a need that is not covered by any global group. Greater engagement of countries by the Task Force and supporting them in advocacy for resources as opportunities arise, domestic or external (e.g. GF and GFF). The subgroup will consider an online sharing platform for products like investment cases.

implementation science iconImplementation Science

Leadership: David Hamer (Boston University); Seeking a co-chair
2020 Priorities: While working to recruit a co-chair, potential calls for subgroup members include identifying follow-up actions to the Private Sector CHNRI results, research priorities/ideas proposed at the 2019 Addis iCCM Meeting, a presentation from the authors of the Integration Position Paper, and discussion of recommended research priorities/topics.

iCCM subgroup logoInstitutionalizing iCCM

Leadership: Alfonso Rosales (WVI) & Anne Linn (USAID)
2020 Priorities: The subgroup will explore solutions that are being applied to operational challenges in iCCM, utilizing the membership of the subgroup to inventory those who may be Principal or Sub-Recipients of GF grants and can inform discussions about challenges and opportunities during the grant application and implementation process.

M&E subgroup iconMonitoring and Evaluation

Leadership: Kate Gilroy (JSI) & Debra Jackson (UNICEF)
2020 Priorities: 1) Review the child health relevant modules of community health routine (CHIS) indicators developed by UNICEF/USAID for the Health Data Collaborative with support from the Global Fund; 2) Development/review of indicators to accompany and monitor the pediatric quality of care standards; and, 3) Consultations about monitoring and evaluating child health in the private sector.

Nutrition subgroup iconNutrition and Child Health

Leadership: Ellyn Yakowenko (Action Against Hunger) & Sascha Lamstein (JSI)
2020 Priorities: Sharing of best practice, emerging evidence, challenges, and lessons learned, with a focus on distilling what is most relevant for advancing our programs, including expected learning about adaptations made during the Covid-19 response. Providing a platform to discuss what integration means and/or how nutrition services are best delivered through existing health systems within and across contexts.

private sector engagement subgroup iconPrivate Sector Engagement

Leadership: Catherine Clarence (Abt Associates/SHOPS+); Seeking a co-chair
2020 Priorities: The subgroup will continue with current workstreams and work with other subgroups (i.e. Quality of Care and M&E) on intersections with private sector service provision.

Quality of Care subgroup iconQuality of Care

Leadership: Anne Detjen (UNICEF), Zaeem Haq (Save the Children) & Pavani Ram (USAID)
2020 Priorities: Plans for the year include: work with the QoC Network to strengthen Pediatric QoC component at global level and network countries; align around implementation guidance for QoC and apply lessons learned from QoC Network to pediatric QoC; perform a landscape analysis and case studies of pediatric QoC; and information sharing and learning webinars.

News icon


  • Report: Innovations and Tools in Child Growth Measurement and Data Visualization  
    Despite global efforts to address malnutrition, the numbers of children under five who are not growing properly are alarming. Ending malnutrition is critical, but there are  many challenges to conducting reliable and accurate measurement as part of GMP, using those measurements to counsel caregivers on the results and future actions to be taken, and drawing on the data collected for decision-making at all levels. This publication from the Global Financing Facility discusses promising technological interventions to help address challenges with growth monitoring and data visualization.

  • Impact Stories: R4D highlights their work and insights learned in two pieces that discuss its partnership with the governments of Ethiopia and Tanzania to increase access to Amoxicillin dispersible tablets (Amox DT) as a treatment for child pneumonia. 

  • Meeting Report: iCCM Technical Consultation, Final Meeting Report- July 2019 
    On July 22-26, 2019, WHO and UNICEF co-hosted a technical consultation and country action planning meeting in Ethiopia that convened government health officials, experts, and partners. The final meeting report details findings from the meeting and participant recommendations to advance the institutionalization of iCCM and strengthen the four response elements of the the Malaria HBHI initiative. The report will also be available in French on the Child Health Task Force website soon, along with all of the meeting resources.
  • Webinar Recording: STT Landscape Webinar (French)
    The Task Force, along with colleagues from the MOH, USAID, and UNICEF in Senegal, hosted its first French language webinar on the findings of the Landscape Analysis of Survive, Thrive, and Transform Interventions for Children. The full recording can be found with the link above.

If you have announcements, resources, or other information to share, please email: childhealthtaskforce@jsi.com to be included in the next newsletter.

Upcoming events icon


  • April 4-5, 2020, online | Global Health and Innovation Conference 2020 
    This conference, which annually convenes a diverse group of more than 2,000 people from 55 countries who are committed to global health innovation and world-changing ideas, has moved to an online format. The virtual conference will share ideas and strategies across all disciplines of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship. 
  • April 1, 2020, 9:00-10:30 am EDT, online | Discussion on Challenges and Strategies for M&E in the Time of COVID-19
    The M&E community is adjusting its practices to support program needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This online discussion, hosted by IDEAL, will provide an opportunity for practitioners to:
    • Discuss M&E challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic with fellow practitioners
    • Hear how other organizations are addressing these challenges
    • Connect with M&E colleagues to brainstorm strategies for prioritizing and adapting M&E within current activities

    The event will feature four brief presentations from the M&E community outlining current M&E challenges and approaches derived during the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by small group discussions. Notes and resources from the event will be shared on the FSN Network Forum.