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"Real-Time" Monitoring of Under-Five Mortality (RMM)

The RMM project aimed to develop and test methods for measuring child deaths that can be used at country level and by partners to assess progress toward national and global goals for child survival.

The work was supported by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and implemented by the Institute for International Programs of the Johns Hopkins University (IIP-JHU) working in collaboration with research institutions in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mali and Niger.

RMM was one component of the Catalytic Initiative to Save a Million Lives (CI), a ten-year, multi-donor initiative led by Canada as part of its Africa Health Systems Initiative that aims to accelerate progress in child survival.


189 countries signed the Millennium Declaration in 2000, and committed themselves to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs. The fourth MDG calls for a two-thirds reduction in under-five mortality between 1990 and 2015. Countries and their development partners are responsible not only for achieving this target, but for measuring their progress at regular intervals. Most low- and middle-income countries rely on DHS or MICS surveys to obtain estimates of under-five mortality, but these surveys produce results that are already 3-5 years out of date at the time they are conducted. The RMM project aimed to develop and test alternative methods that can provide Governments and partners with more recent estimates of progress in improving child survival.


In each of the five collaborating countries, IIP-JHU worked with local research institutions to implement each method for at least 12 months. In addition, the team evaluated the accuracy of the results by comparing them to a “gold-standard” household survey or census.

The full results of RMM have been published in a PLOS Collection which is available here.