Capacity Building

We accelerate progress toward improved health outcomes by offering context-driven technical and capacity development assistance to enhance and scale up evidence-informed health approaches and interventions.

Karen Kasmauski/MCSP

USAID partner countries face health system challenges that impact their ability to provide and sustain quality maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) care and voluntary family planning services.

For instance, fragile and conflict-affected countries, such as South Sudan, are currently not able to self-finance maternal and child health services and have limited human resource capacity; they often rely on external financial and technical support to meet their population’s health care needs. Other countries, such as India, are largely able to self-finance their maternal and child health care services; they rely on minimal technical assistance and capacity-building support.1

MOMENTUM’s Approach

We mark a strategic shift in USAID’s MNCH care and voluntary family planning support. It includes a greater focus on building the capacity, sustainability, and resilience of ministries of health and local partner institutions while maintaining an emphasis on advancing the scale up of evidence-based approaches and interventions.

Local Leadership

Support local institutions to lead service delivery

MOMENTUM projects ensure that state institutions and local civil society organizations, faith-based organizations, and private providers are the primary implementers of service delivery activities. Supporting local leadership helps countries sustain interventions and move toward self-sufficiency and ensures that interventions are culturally appropriate and adapted for the local context.

We issue performance-based sub-awards and innovation grants to local civil society institutions and governments that advance these efforts, enabling local entities to learn by doing. In time, these sub-awards may become transition awards with local groups receiving money directly from USAID.2 By prioritizing local leadership and providing necessary capacity building, MOMENTUM increases ownership and accountability and ensures service delivery and positive health outcomes continue beyond the life of the project.

Mecucu Health Centre Nampula, Mozambique
Kate Holt/MCSP
Local Management

Enhance country capacity to plan and manage health services

We maximize maternal and child health gains by increasing the capacity of ministries of health to introduce, deliver, and sustain evidence-based, high-quality MNCH services, voluntary family planning, and reproductive health care.

Capacity-building efforts vary by local need and center on enhancing health system resilience to deliver quality services. MOMENTUM builds public health managers’ skills in managing the health workforce; develops realistic, evidence-based program plans and budgets; and improves health information system capacity and data use.


Government officials looking through the clinics record to see how many patients it has served, Migori County, Kenya
Allan Gichigi/MCSP
Local Evidence

Strengthen technical capacity

Our technical teams offer tailored consultations to countries to adopt new and innovative evidence-based practices. We work with national advisory groups to adapt new global guidance and country-specific evidence to local realities and then work under government leadership to scale interventions tailored to the country context.

Community health workers recieving training on Malaria prevention, Bungoma, Kenya 2016.
Allan Gichigi/MCSP


  1.  USAID, “Self-reliance” is a country’s ability to finance and implement solutions to its own development challenges. The two mutually reinforcing factors determining self-reliance are a country’s commitment and a country’s capacity. See “The Journey to Self-Reliance,”
  2. USAID, “Acquisition and Assistance Strategy” (December 2018),

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