2022 Annual Report

Motherhood Collective Impact Programme

Investing in safer motherhood means investing in the future

Introduction from the Programme Director.

The Motherhood Collective Impact Programme (MCIP) was born out of the knowledge that women’s health is underfunded, understudied, and overlooked, to the detriment of women from all walks of life.

Women’s health, including women’s health equity, the safety of medicine use in pregnancy and breastfeeding, women-centered health, and sex/gender in clinical research and development is not viewed as a priority. Existing gaps in women-centered care invariably have a societal impact that is often not considered or measured. It has been well-documented that women experience diseases differently and that specific conditions affect women more frequently than men, while the paucity of information on the safety of medicine use in pregnancy and breastfeeding leaves millions of women at risk of worse health outcomes.

By virtue of how our health systems have evolved, women and maternal health is often a secondary issue within a given political, scientific, or societal agenda by decision-makers. The aim of MCIP is to address the most challenging issues in maternal health by taking a new, co-impact, and systems-based approach. Our focus is on a number of key issues, such as tackling the lack of information on the safety of medicine (medication) use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, highlighting the need for truly women-centered care, and shining a spotlight on the need for proper gender representation in clinical research and development.

Women are the centerpiece of our society and our families - they are the chief medical officer for their families, and they are the chief caregivers. When women have better health, everyone has better health. Everyone has a mom and it is all our responsibility to speak up for maternal rights.

Dr Ru-fong Joanne Cheng

OBGYN and Senior Medical Director, Women's Health, Office of the Chief Medical Officer at Johnson & Johnson

Over 200 million women get pregnant each year, of which five million are in the EU. Many of these have a chronic illness or get ill during pregnancy. The sad thing is that this is a taboo topic, when taking care of yourself is what’s best for the baby.

Helena Harnik

Programmes Director, Motherhood Collective Impact Program (MCIP) at The Synergist.

MCIP is a proud partner in ConcePTION, an EU-funded collaborative project that has over 88 diverse partners united from 22 countries, from civil society organizations to industry, academics, researchers, and beyond. The project aims to tackle the information gap in medicine use during pregnancy and breastfeeding across Europe.

By collaborating with key stakeholders from within the realm of women’s health and beyond, MCIP is seeking to subvert the status quo and elevate the recognition and respect given to women’s and maternal health.


SMW 2022 took place in October 2022 and its theme was “Upholding maternal rights in times of crisis.” The theme resonated with our online audience, and the campaign enjoyed a broad reach with strong engagement.

  • #SafeMotherhoodWeek campaign reached over 714,844 people with more than  1,445,778 engagements across all social media channels.
  • This included influencers, policymakers, and journalists, and was achieved via targeted digital campaigns and private tags, as well as direct messages.

Contribution to IMI ConcePTION

In 2022 we continued our contribution to an important EU-wide initiative on the safety use of medicines in pregnancy and breastfeeding, IMI ConcePTION. We supported the ongoing tasks in communicating with women and healthcare professionals (as part of WP5) and in developing a sustainability strategy for specific ConcePTION deliverables including the milk biobank network, information knowledge bank, and pregnancy and medication studies (WP8.7).

Within WP5, the Synergist contributes to two discrete tasks. In Task 5.2, we are co creating an EU-centralized publicly accessible, and sustainable information knowledge bank for up-to-date information about drug use during pregnancy and lactation as well as contributing to raising awareness of the information gap in medicines use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. We also contribute to Task 5.3, which aims to develop and execute general communication methods for increasing awareness about the importance of reporting through pharmacovigilance systems and participation in research during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Within WP8.7, the Synergist plays a role in the development of sustainability plans for ConcePTION deliverables for beyond the project’s completion date, so that the value generated by the ConcePTION ecosystem may continue in perpetuity.

Ambitions for 2023

Our understanding from our partners is that there is an opportunity to help address a widespread deficit  in women-centered care, which they believe is currently overlooked as a priority. Despite the fact that women experience disease differently and specific conditions affect women more frequently than men (e.g. in lung cancer), women are not adequately represented nor engaged in clinical trialswhile there is a lack of awareness of the value case for investing in women from a healthcare perspective. The societal impact of this is significant.Through our work in ConcePTION, we also know that the gap in information on safety of medicine use in pregnancy and breastfeeding is another unmet need.

In 2023, the MCIP team will continue these discussions with partners to explore opportunities to address these gaps in women-centered care and care for women who are also patients, which includes the issue of women's engagement in clinical research and development including sex/gender disaggregated data. Please contact us if you are interested in shaping this opportunity with us.

Financial report

24 538

Project expenses

47 958

Conception Project expenses

48 667

Conception turnover

The Motherhood Collective Impact Team

The Motherhood Collective Impact Team consists of:

Nicholas Brooke

Executive Director

Helena Harnik

Synergist Programs Director

Jean-Christophe Capelle

Financial Director

Roxana Radu

Communications Manager

Lidewij Eva Vat

Program Director

Adeola Aderemi

Communication Manager

Maximiliane Rauch

Program Manager

Danielle Barron

Editor in Chief

France Donnay

Independent Consultant