Putting Maternal Health on the Map

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By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

Increasingly in the maternal health field, it is critical to know who the other players in the field are, where they work and how we can work together instead of constantly reinventing the wheel. This was the core incentive behind the mapping project Women Deliver has been working on with the Maternal Health Task Force. Since 2009, as of today we have mapped 884 NGOs working in the maternal health field: 527 total in India, Nigeria, Ghana, Bolivia, Peru and Indonesia; and 357 total so far in Afghanistan, Brazil, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. Taking part in this project has been enlightening, and has enabled us to identify barriers to access as well as potential for partnerships.

The major challenge we faced is the reality that internet access is limited in some of the countries we mapped, in rural areas in particular. Since the majority of our outreach has been online, this has proved to be a serious obstacle. We would greatly benefit from hearing from those of you in the field on who you work with, what other NGOs you know of, and so on.

Most importantly, this mapping project has illuminated for me both how vast and how small the world is. Throughout the world, there are thousands of us working to save the lives of girls and women, and that is an amazing, inspiring thought. None of us can afford to work in isolation. We need each other: we need to share ideas, success stories, failure stories, frustrations, and hopes for the future. We need your help to put maternal health on the map.