Research Synthesis

Considerations for Integrating Health Campaigns

A Synthesis of Findings from Implementation Research Studies in Immunization, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Malaria, and Vitamin A Supplementation


Health campaigns are a powerful tool for addressing a variety of health concerns. Oftentimes multiple campaigns will be running in the same geographic area at a similar time. Health programs are increasingly seeking ways to efficiently utilize limited resources and minimize the burden on and fatigue of communities. To address this, integration of campaigns is a potential opportunity. The most effective ways to set up integrated campaigns should be based on evidence such that programs’ health goals and communities’ health needs continue to be met. The Health Campaign Effectiveness Coalition (HCE) is meeting this need with a new report presenting key insights drawn from eight implementation research projects it supported in the areas of neglected tropical diseases, malaria, immunizations, and nutrition. The insights come from a synthesis of projects in Colombia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Guinea, Nigeria, and Bangladesh and in assessing stakeholder views in multiple countries. The report shares integrated campaign outcomes, challenges, and the promising practices that emerged in four themes: collaborative approach to planning, engaging communities and stakeholders, government leadership and coordination, and the use of digital tools. The promising practices, based on evidence drawn from real-world experiences, can be tailored by campaign managers to guide policy and planning for effective integrated campaigns.


Ministries of health, donors, and global health organizations are exploring opportunities to integrate health campaigns to maximize existing resources and better meet the health care needs of populations through prevention, control, and elimination of disease. Integrating health campaigns can involve full integration (co-delivery) of two or more health interventions or partial integration of campaign functions. The Health Campaign Effectiveness (HCE) Coalition issued a request for proposals in 2021 to support research partners in low- and middle-income countries to conduct implementation research (IR) to explore or evaluate integrated health campaigns related to immunization, neglected tropical diseases, malaria, and vitamin A supplementation. HCE conducted a synthesis, which summarized the outcomes of the integrated campaigns in these projects, identified the enabling factors and challenges encountered, highlighted the promising practices that campaign managers should consider, and specified the knowledge gaps to fill.


Eight IR studies were selected based on an expert review process. They were implemented between March 2021 and August 2022 by research partners collaborating with governments in Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, Guinea, Nigeria, and Rwanda. Of the eight projects, two focused on the planning and preparation of integrated campaigns, three focused on evaluating the process and outcomes of a co-delivered campaign, and three examined information on past integrated campaigns in multiple countries from campaign managers or from literature reviews. Staff at the HCE Coalition’s program office, in collaboration with the HCE Campaign Integration Workgroup, conducted a descriptive analysis of outcomes and a qualitative evidence synthesis of the reports of the mixed-methods (quantitative and qualitative) IR projects.


The three IR projects on co-delivery, which assessed coverage levels of the integrated interventions, found that coverage remained high at approximately 83% to 89% in districts in Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Guinea. Individual projects assessed additional outcomes, including beneficiary safety, community acceptability, opportunity to reach zero-dose individuals, cost-effectiveness, and changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior related to the uptake of the integrated interventions. The promising practices that emerged from the qualitative evidence synthesis were grouped into four overarching themes, as follows:

Theme 1: Collaborative Planning 

  1. Employ a co-design approach to allow campaign teams to apply adaptive management to pinpoint and address potential bottlenecks for integrated campaigns.
  2. Align components of integrated campaigns with established components in the health system.
  3. Leverage the resources and experience of a well-known national health program to allow for greater acceptability of the intervention being integrated.

Theme 2: Community and Stakeholder Engagement during All Phases of the Campaign

  1. Ensure the experiences and priorities of a wide range of stakeholders are incorporated in the planning and implementation.
  2. Leverage existing coordination mechanisms and systems when planning and implementing integrated campaigns.
  3. Select the appropriate health worker and community health worker cadres within the health system to ensure delivery of more complex integrated interventions.
  4. Ensure planning and remuneration addresses the workload of health workers and community health workers.
  5. Develop and deliver tailored social and behavioral change communication.

Theme 3: Government Leadership and Coordination During All Phases

  1. Work through a coordinating body that ensures transparency about the activity and facilitates advocacy and support for the integrated campaign.
  2. Convene all stakeholders after the integrated campaign to review performance and reflect on challenges and solutions for future campaigns.

Theme 4: Digital Tool Use

  1. Identify opportunities in which digital tools may be used during all phases of the campaign and plan for their use.
  2. Strengthen the capacity of staff to use and manage digital tools to close capacity gaps among governments and implementers conducting integrated health campaigns.
  3. Document challenges in the management and use of digital tools and dashboards to understand how tools and processes can be improved for future integrated health campaigns.

Promising Practices