Since our beginning in 2010, we have used a mixed-methods approach to researching and documenting our impact.
Qualitative Research: Enhanced Capacity of Health Workers
Through observations, surveys, and more than 1,200 in-depth interviews, we have evidence that the Solar Suitcase substantially improves the capacity to conduct basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric care, enhances health worker morale, and increases patient health-seeking behavior. The introduction of overhead LED lights, headlamps, phone chargers and fetal Dopplers to energy-deficient health centers enables health workers to work more effectively and efficiently.
Multi-Intervention Evaluations: Improved Survival for Mothers and Newborns
The Solar Suitcase was included as a key intervention in several comprehensive maternal-newborn programs in partnership with many health-focused organizations, including AMREF, Pathfinder International, Jhpiego, One Heart World-Wide, and Hamlin College of Midwives. As a result of these comprehensive interventions, we have seen increased use of the facility and reductions in maternal and newborn mortality.
A Randomized Control Trial to Evaluate Improvements in Quality of Care
Randomized control trials are considered the gold standard in research. In 2018-2020, we hired external evaluators Harvard School of Public Health and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) to conduct a randomized control trial of the Solar Suitcase intervention as a solitary intervention. Before the intervention, providers on average performed 42% of essential care actions and accumulated 76 minutes of delays during nighttime deliveries. After installation, quality increased and delays in care decreased , with the largest impacts on infection control, prevention of postpartum hemorrhage, and newborn care practices.