About Us

CIET is a group of non-profit foundations, charities, non-governmental organisations and institutes dedicated to building the community voice into planning. Professor Neil Andersson started CIET in Mexico in 1985 to promote wider participation in health planning – Centro de Investigación de Enfermedades Tropicales (Tropical Disease Research Centre). CIET methods evolved to deal with other issues and the acronym has come to represent the values of the organisation: community information, empowerment and transparency. In Canada, CIETcanada merged with Participatory Research at McGill (PRAM) and has an institutional base in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University.

CIET began its work on social audits in two states in Nigeria, Bauchi and Cross River. The project seeks to improve the health information and planning system by focusing on health outcomes rather than service provision. The intention is to deliver better primary health care services and ultimately better health. The project improves health information and builds capacity to use evidence and link it to planning such that resources are allocated to make a difference.

A CIET fieldworker interviews a woman during the second evidence-gathering cycle on child health.

In April 2006, a demonstration social audit of health services performance and service needs demonstrated a tool for policy makers and donors that could improve the quality of health services and minimise system leakage.

The first evidence-gathering cycle on maternal outcomes began early in 2009 and identified risk factors associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

A follow up to this first cycle is a pilot programme called the community surveillance system, which focuses on door-to-door visits to pregnant women in one local government authority, Giade, in Bauchi state.

The second evidence-gathering cycle began in early 2011, on the subject of childhood illnesses and nutritional status.

Based on the results of each data collection cycle, we help to develop communication strategies directed at communities, health workers, decision makers at state level and civil society. We call this socializing the evidence for participatory action (SEPA). SEPA activities are happening in a randomly-selected sample of three local government authorities in each state, which serve to demonstrate the positive health and equity consequences of this multi-stakeholder information and planning system.

An important component of the project, human capacity development for evidence-based planning, helps improve local and state government capacity for results-based management of health.

The project is a collaborative effort between the Government of Nigeria, the International Development Research Centre, Canada, (IDRC) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). 

For more on this initiative, visit IDRC’s project website, download IDRC’s Overview of Universal Health Coverage, or visit their page on Strengthening health systems.


University seminar series

Public lectures across Canada on maternal, newborn and child health. Read More

Equity in maternal health

A short IDRC video that addresses equity in maternal health in Nigeria. Read More

Safe birth in cultural safety

In Nigeria and Mexico, we work to assure safe birth in cultural safety. Visit our Safe Birth website



Maternal health social audit

Intervention gallery

CIET methods documentary