MHTF Supported Projects

The MHTF provides support to several projects that are closely aligned with our agenda of improving and measuring quality of care; expanding educational opportunities for new and mid-level maternal health professionals; and increasing access to maternal health research and information. In addition to the projects listed below, the MHTF convenes scientific and technical meetings, including the Global Maternal Health Conference.

Implementation Research (IR) Projects

In Ethiopia, the MHTF partners with the Addis Continental Institute of Public Health (ACIPH), the Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy, St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College (SPMMC), and the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health to assess an intervention package that includes providing training, mentorship, emergency obstetric drills, inter-facility midwife exchanges, and team-based supportive supervision in urban Addis Ababa. Under this project, ACIPH is also conducting qualitative research to better understand the factors that promote women’s use of facility-based obstetric services.

In India, the MHTF is working with St. John’s Research Institute, the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust and the Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy to conduct a quasi-experimental study comparing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions to enhance health worker skills, improve teamwork among providers, and referral networks in four sub-district hospitals/community health centers against usual practice in four matched facilities in two districts in Karnataka state.

Young Champions of Maternal Health

iie-logoThe MHTF is supporting the Institute of International Education (IIE) for a second round of the Young Champions of Maternal Health. IIE identified a total of ten Young Champions from Ethiopia, India, Mexico and Nigeria, who were placed with exemplary maternal health institutions in their home countries. The Young Champions were matched with organizations for a nine-month research or field project internship focusing on a particular area of maternal health. Read about their experiences on the Young Champions of Maternal Health blog.

In 2009, the MHTF and Ashoka partnered to create an innovative new program that charts the future of the maternal health field. The Young Champions of Maternal Health Program was the first-ever international fellowship dedicated exclusively to grooming a new generation of maternal health leaders. The 15 Young Champions hailed from 13 countries and spent 9 months abroad working with and being mentored by an Ashoka Fellow with expertise in maternal health or a related field.

To learn more about the first Young Champions of Maternal Health, read the ebook, In Their Own Words: The Young Champions of Maternal Health, written by the Young Champions and Ashoka.

PLOS Open Access Collection of Maternal Health Research

PLOS-logoMHTF-PLOS Collection on Maternal HealthIn order to increase access to comprehensive information on maternal health, the MHTF is collaborating with PLOS Medicine to provide a freely available, open access collection of research and commentary on maternal health. The three year partnership will address burning issues in maternal health.

The theme of the Year 1 Collection (2011-2012) was “quality of maternal health care.” See the Call for Papers editorial and the 18 articles included in the collection here.

The theme of the current Year 2 Collection (2012-2013) is “maternal health is women’s health.” A Call for Papers was issued on November 27, 2012.

Regular updates are available at the MHTF-PLOS Collection page.


Women and Health Initiative, in collaboration with the University of Oxford, is developing BetterCareTogether – an innovative system that uses the latest and best of social media and technology to match providers looking for ways to strengthen certain healthcare practices to providers able to suggest practical solutions. The project aims to create a global virtual network of connected providers.

BetterCareTogether harnesses effective web-based and social media technology to connect frontline providers to each other, enabling them to learn from each other and propagate best practices in an environment moderated by experts to ensure high-quality clinical advice and action plans. The platform will provide opportunities for continuing professional education and generate “south-to-south” collaboration to address common barriers in limited resource settings.

BetterCareTogether builds upon Global Voices for Maternal Health, a project previously supported by the MHTF.

Field Experience in Maternal Health, Harvard School of Public Health

The MHTF is collaborating with the Women and Health Initiative at Harvard School of Public Health to provide students with an opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge to maternal health issues in developing countries through direct experiences with MHTF partner organizations. Each January, students spend three weeks working with a MHTF partner organization under qualified supervision. Their work involves collecting data, visiting sites, conducting interviews, preparing draft reports and proposals, and conducting needs assessments.

Learn more about the course by visiting the course page here and reading blog posts from the participating students.

Hansen Project on Maternal and Child Health

The Hansen Project on Maternal and Child Health creates a coordinated framework for addressing key factors that threaten the lives and livelihoods of women and families across eastern and central Africa, with particular focus on Ethiopia and Tanzania. The Women and Health Initiative is leading programmatic efforts in Ethiopia and Tanzania to prevent maternal deaths by improving the quality of health care; mitigate the impact of mothers’ death on their children by strengthening specific components of ongoing health programs; and train policy makers and program managers from the sub-Saharan Africa region to increase their capacity to implement effective maternal and child health initiatives in their countries.

The Hansen Project is supported by the John and Katie Hansen Family Foundation.

Woodrow Wilson International Center
Advancing Dialogue on Maternal Health Series


Since 2009, the MHTF in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and with technical assistance from USAID, has supported Advancing Dialogue on Maternal Health Series at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (WWIC) in Washington, DC. The series covers a range of emerging and neglected maternal health issues, with a strategic focus on links to other development sectors such as transportation, gender equity, religion and poverty. Tapping expertise from around the world, especially from experts working in developing countries, the series is webcast live.

Audiences at the Maternal Health Dialogues comprise senior-level policy makers and civil servants from the US Government and from foreign consuls and missions located in Washington DC, as well as educational institutions and non-governmental organizations. In 2011, a pilot partnership with the African Population and Health Research Center simulcast parallel dialogues for jointly convened audiences in Nairobi, Kenya and Washington, DC. Similar partnerships are expected for future events in the Maternal Health Dialogue Series.

Lists of upcoming and past programs are available on the MHTF website.

The Wilson Center provided an analysis of the Maternal Health Dialogue Series in Delivering Solutions: Advancing Dialogue to Improve Maternal Health.