Slightly smaller than the state of Wisconsin, Bangladesh is home to more than 155 million people, making it the most densely populated country in the world. Delivering high-quality health services—particularly to the poor—is a tremendous challenge.
Working with USAID, the government of Bangladesh, Chemonics is helping to build and strengthen an innovative network of static clinics and satellite sites managed by local NGOs that are capable of serving millions of people. This network, developed through the Smiling Sun Franchise Program (SSFP)
, is dedicated to delivering the highest-quality care to all Bangladeshis, regardless of race, age, gender, religion, disability, sexuality, marital status, medical history, socioeconomic status, or ability to pay.
Building the Capacity of Local Health Professionals
The Smiling Sun network comprises 26 local NGOs, 323 clinics, 8,819 satellite sites, and more than 6,500 community service providers. From the initial design, the project team determined that for the program to truly be sustainable and for the network to continue to deliver critical health services beyond the life of the project, local capacity building in management, service delivery, and marketing were necessary.
Quality improvement for health service delivery has been a priority for the project, which has provided training in infection prevention and patient safety. In addition, a clinical quality council now assesses quality issues and provides recommendations for clinics in the network.
To improve the management capacity of clinic, program, finance, and administration directors, SSFP designed a targeted training tool to improve business planning, as well as business planning manuals, budget management training, site visits, checklists, supervisions, and iterative feedback analysis.
Additionally, the project has worked with local NGOs and clinics to improve governance, internal policy development, network management, and communications, including a network website
, and has also developed innovative web-based tools to help local managers monitor and improve business planning and service delivery.
During the past four years of project implementation, the Smiling Sun network has accomplished a great deal—323 clinics and 8,819 satellite sites in all 64 districts of the country, 110 million customer contacts, and, perhaps most importantly, more than 70,500 safe deliveries. By building the capacity of the local professionals in this network, Chemonics and USAID are working to ensure these results continue and grow after the project closes.