Shanti Uganda provides a range of maternal healthcare services at its Birth House location. We spent 7 weeks living and conducting research with Shanti Uganda and its employees. We engaged in participant observation, recorded ethnographic field notes, and conducted interviews and focus groups at the Birth House. Our observations included how Shanti Uganda staff serves its beneficiaries through perinatal services and various workshops— one teen boys workshop and two gardening workshops. We shadowed midwives to learn how they collect and report data, and we spoke with employees to learn how they evaluate the impact of teen health, gardening, and nutrition workshops. Workshops provide beneficiaries with education, peer support, and life skills to live empowered, healthy lives. Compared to alternative healthcare facilities (one government hospital, one private clinic, and one mid-level government clinic), we identified factors that differentiate Shanti Uganda. Our interviews—designed collaboratively with local translators—included questions pertaining to the impact the organization has on the personal lives, the Nsassi village, and the greater Luweero district. We conducted 53 interviews with clients, mothers, teens, parents of teens, village health workers, midwives, nursing assistants, district health officers, and the local chairperson.
1. Shanti Uganda stands out among other healthcare facilities. Scarcity of adequate health facilities in rural areas amplify the need for Shanti Uganda’s services. The combination of low costs, facility cleanliness, intentional care, and accessibility attracts clients and sets Shanti Uganda apart from other local health facilities, both government and private.
2. Accurate and efficient data collection is necessary for scale and on-going management. The volume and variety of collected data demand efficient operational organization in order to communicate impact to stakeholders. Effective data collection is required to sustain future support.
3. Data-oriented competencies build capability and capacity. Shanti Uganda’s under-resourced setting limits productivity and overburdens employees. Investment in data-oriented (vs. direct service) personnel and resources will ensure efficient and effective data collection. A participatory data collection system can bring employees together to cultivate a cohesive mindset for growth.