Motherhood Collective
Impact Programme 2019 report
Investing in safer motherhood means investing in the future

Introduction from the Programme Manager

According to the Maternal Health Task Force, between 1990 and 2015 the global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) decreased by 44%, from 385 to 216 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Yet, the world still fell far short of the Millennium Development Goals target of a 75% reduction in the global MMR by 2015, with persistent geographic inequalities (source).

Although the maternal health community is large, it is dispersed and fragmented, making collaboration a challenge. Not knowing what others are doing means we could be duplicating work, or overlooking an important need. We believe that the best way to address maternal health challenges is by looking at the whole system. Doing so will avoid duplication, create synergies, and ultimately ensure the best care for women and their children.

In 2019 more and more people in maternal health are talking about fragmentation as a key issue for them. For example, it was voiced as a shared concern at the international health conference Taking the Urban Turn in Brussels, and the difficulty in finding and bringing together local associations was identified as an important challenge at a community workshop led by the Sanofi Espoir Foundation in Senegal in November.

This is exactly what we aim to solve. In 2019 we have made important progress and have begun to establish MCIP as an central player in maternal care through activities such as expanding Maternal Health Synapse and offline activities such as the “Accelerating impact together - prioritising maternal & newborn health solutions in Senegal” workshop during Safe Motherhood Week (SMW).

Maternal Health Synapse continues to support our mission by bringing together inspirational projects, people and organisations in maternal health. As Synapse grows, it will help the maternal health community by collecting together what we know, making it easier to discover other experts to collaborate on solutions, and bringing our individual learnings and activities to a wide, international audience.

In 2020 our goal is to reinforce this momentum, to strengthen and grow the program, and to make a positive proof of concept that collaboration at the systems level is the best way to make pregnancy and motherhood a positive experience for mothers and children everywhere.

Helena Harnik Programme Director

+ View more

2019 Achievements

Workshop accelerates maternal health impact in Senegal

More than 10 maternal health actors and organisations with activities or an interest in maternal health in Senegal came together at the “Accelerating impact together - prioritising maternal & newborn health solutions in Senegal” workshop during Safe Motherhood Week to exchange experiences, identify links between over 20 existing initiatives, and design macro-solution clusters to be further refined with local stakeholders. Workshop participants explored two models that identify gaps in maternal health, the Alliance for Maternal Health Equality's Matrix to Measure Health Systems Performance , and the Sanofi Espoir Foundation’s pilot of the Accelerating Impact Model, which captures the most urgent systemic needs on the field using a bottom-up approach.

These models could become the foundation of a unique framework for systemic, sustainable and qualitative maternal care that could be brought to other countries and regions facing similar challenges. These discussions have also led to a planned common publication, a call to action to share learnings and collaborate at the systems level to reduce fragmentation in maternal health. A social media activation campaign directly supported the workshop by engaging over 120 notable organisations and individuals from the maternal health community, including over 41 in Africa, to share examples of inspirational initiatives.

notable organisations and individuals shared and
followed the workshop and campaign
organisations and individuals in Senegal
organisations and individuals in Africa
Social media
reach (total)
Social media
reach (total)
Total visits on our online pool
Total number of Synapse views

Maternal Health Synapse continues to create synergies and reduce fragmentation in maternal health

The Maternal Health Synapse collaborative platform, launched at the end of 2018, aims to reduce fragmentation in the maternal health community and eliminate duplication by mapping the maternal health landscape, including maternal health organisations, initiatives and activities, resources, experts and actors, building an interconnected ecosystem and bringing this to the digital age. To support the workshop and pilot in Senegal, 51 maternal health actors have been mapped in Senegal, as well as 19 initiatives from Senegal out of an inspirational list of over 50 initiatives in the region. Synapse has mapped over 221 experts, 318 organisations, 90 initiatives, and over 198 resources to date . Our ambition is to continue this very positive momentum in 2020 through two pilots to map a specific community in Synapse, to further demonstrate the value that Synapse can bring in practice.

pilots to map
in 2020
maternal health actors mapped in Senegal
from Senegal
Initiatives in
the region
Resources to date

Fifth and most successful edition of Safe Motherhood Week is helping us make maternal health a priority topic

2019 marked the fifth and most successful edition of Safe Motherhood Week (SMW) with the theme “ Accessibility to Quality Maternal Care and Safe Medication ”. The campaign also focused on mapping the global maternal health landscape with a lens on Senegal/ Africa. It reached over 1,701,746 people (200% growth compared to 2018) with more than 277,395 engagements (5000% growth compared to 2018) across all channels.

Our supporters included Amref Health Africa, Dr Flavia Bustreo (Former Assistant Director-General at WHO, co-Chair of the Gavi Board, co-Chair and Director at PMNCH), Professor Joy Lawn of LSHTM, Stacey Stewart (CEO of March of Dimes), Wellbeing Foundation in Africa, CEHURD Uganda, Tim Reed (Executive Director of HAI), Yorghas Foundation and founder Alina Pelka (in Africa and the Middle East) and the White Ribbon Alliance. Through the SMW campaign we also engaged with 60 experts (researchers, HCPs, academics, advocates) globally, out of which 10 are based in Africa.

People reach (200% growth compared to 2018)
Engagement (5000% growth compared to 2018)
Social media
Total visits on our online pool
globally, out of which 10 are based in Africa

Our 2020 Approach

With a new programme management team in place, in 2020 we will revisit the foundations of the Motherhood Collective Impact Program with a view to strengthening it and focusing on where we can make the biggest difference.

Our priority is to continue mapping the maternal health ecosystem, reducing duplication and identifying opportunities using Maternal Health Synapse as an asset. Through pilot projects we aim to prove that collaborative leadership, or collaboration at the systems level, is the best way to make sustainable impact on maternal care. Planned improvements in Synapse will make this resource even more personalised, relevant and useful to users.

We will use the activities of our annual Safe Motherhood Week and continual storytelling via the Motherhood Collective Impact Programme communication channels to increase awareness among the general public of the maternal and neonatal health gaps and important issues that cut across all geographies and cultures. Finally, we will co-create tools and solutions that will enable the maternal health community to make progress more quickly, aiming to create as many synergies as possible with important projects such as IMI ConcePTION.

The Motherhood Collective Impact Board

The Motherhood Collective Impact Board consists of:

  • Bernadette Hendrickx Scientific Advisor
  • Lode Dewulf Consultant, Permanent Guest
  • Neil Datta Executive Director At EPF
  • Irene Donadio Advocacy Officer At IPPF
  • Dr France Donnay Consultant, Women's Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Motherhood Collective Impact Team

The Motherhood Collective Impact Team consists of:

  • Nicholas Brooke Executive Director
  • Helena Harnik Synergist Programs Director
  • Eric Blanchet Operations Director
  • Jean-Christophe Capelle Financial Director
  • Roxana Radu Communications Manager
  • Gulwish Ahmed Communications Assistant
  • Lise Brooke Growth Hacker
  • Daniela Luzuriaga Ubilla Project Coordinator
  • Danielle Barron Chief Editor, Motherhood Projects

Our Partners

They made all this possible

A total of 13 partners have decided to join forces to support and push forward our initiatives. This represents a major change in philosophy that has already started generating significant output on all projects.

Poor access to maternal care not just a developing world issue
Find out more
Flu vaccine in pregnancy – safe and necessary
Find out more
Bridging the knowledge gap for pregnant and breastfeeding women
Find out more