The Community and District Empowerment for Scale-up or CODES project is a multi-year initiative designed to eliminate child deaths caused by diarrhoea, pneumonia, and malaria – three of the top killers of children under five in Uganda today. Developed jointly by Uganda’s Ministry of Health, UNICEF, and Karolinska Institutet in partnership with Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE), ChildFund International, Makerere University School of Public Health and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, CODES is designed to help the Government of Uganda boost its own capacity to implement policies and interventions that lead to a wide array of improvements in health outcomes, especially concerning the control of diarrhoea, pneumonia, and malaria in children under five years. The project targets 16 districts throughout the country, randomly divided into two groups: an intervention group and a comparison group. (An earlier “proof of concept” phase involved five districts in the central region.) A controlled evaluation will measure changes in child health data over the three-year duration of the intervention (2013 - 2016) to gauge the impact of the initiative. The CODES project is built on three key pillars.
Supporting District Health Systems: CODES helps District Health Teams use local data to prioritise health interventions that target diarrhoea, pneumonia, and malaria, while identifying and assessing supply- and demand-side bottlenecks in the coverage of health interventions.
Quality Improvement: CODES provides regular forums for cross-district mentoring and peer-to-peer support among district technical leaders through a quality improvement approach that uses innovative management tools and targeted funding to eliminate identified gaps in the coverage of health-based interventions.
Working with Communities to Improve Child Health: CODES creates opportunities for local communities to engage and assess district health services, while hosting community dialogues that provide parents and caretakers of children under five years with health education to improve child wellbeing.