The Women and Children's Health Project was a large Australian funded aid Project that sought to improve the health of women and children in Papua New Guinea between 1998 and 2004. Community development and health promotion interventions aimed to increase community support for attended birth and children's health. Green and Kreuter's [Green, L. W. and Kreuter, M. W. (2005) Health Program Planning: An Educational and Ecological Approach, 4th edition. McGraw-Hill, New York] precede–proceed model of health program planning was applied retrospectively to critique the design, implementation and evaluation of the Project. An outcome evaluation (2006) provided data for this analysis and investigated long-term impact using a multi-methods approach. Application of the precede–proceed model was useful, but the model fails to sufficiently well identify ‘inhibiting factors’ as part of the educational and ecological assessment during the planning phase. Pre-defined objectives and contractually obligated outputs in a donor funded business model negatively influenced Project activity and outcomes. Despite this and the challenging context for implementation, Project interventions improved interaction between the community and health systems, and improved use of maternal child health services.