ABC University School of Public Health is the applying institution and has the overall responsibility for the project including the day-to-day implementation and management. The school has a financial department that will be responsible for all financial management and reporting requirements in collaboration with the Department of Health Policy Planning and Management. In addition, ABC University School of Public Health, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, will be responsible for organizing dissemination activities and meetings. The School of Public Health has strong and long-term links with other key partners, such as WHO, UNICEF, USAID, districts, and the local communities, and is the leading public health academic and research institution in Uganda.

Composition of the research team

The team comprises a multidisciplinary selection of national and international specialists who will provide the skills that are necessary for the effective design, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of findings that will inform the scale up of maternal, newborn and HIV-related studies, as well as guide the implementation of ongoing programmes. The PI is an epidemiologist who has 10 years’ experience working as a district medical officer/MoH and is currently a PI for the UNEST study and a lecturer at the School of Public Health. He has also played a key role in several other health system projects. Other members include Dr Jane Doe, a medical officer for reproductive health in the MOH. She will be the main link to policy and, together with the district medical officers, she will provide technical advice that will be crucial for ensuring that the study is aligned with the country’s priorities, policies and plans. In collaboration with several local NGOs, Dr Doe will also play a role linking the research team with the relevant policy-makers and providing expert advice on aligning the project with the country’s newborn-related priorities.

Other team members from Uganda include Mrs Claire Smith, a health economist and maternal health specialist and Dr David Johnson, a health systems expert with over 30 years’ experience. They will be jointly responsible for the costing aspect of the study, as well as the designing of the demand-side financing scheme. Dr John Smith, a consultant obstetrician at CDE University, will be responsible for the training and support supervision of the health workers. Dr Jane Davis, a statistician, will be responsible for the design and implementation of the baseline and end line survey. Jane Johnson, a communications specialist, will be responsible for ensuring that study findings are communicated to policy-makers in an appropriate and timely manner. The international research team members include John Doe (JHU, health systems expert), the director for the Future Health Systems Program Consortium, Jane Smith (JHU, newborn specialist), David Johnson (JHU, maternal health specialist) and Claire Davis (KI, health systems and policy specialist). They will all provide technical advice to the team during the design, implementation and evaluation phase of the study. All research team members will participate in the writing of manuscripts.

The project will recruit two field coordinators, with priority given to those in existing projects, who have already gained experience and built an excellent rapport with the districts and local communities.