Sharon Bissell | October 2015
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Presentation at the Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference, October 20, 2015

MacArthur Foundation has operated a reproductive health program in Mexico since the early 1990s. Since 2000, MacArthur’s grant-making strategy has focused on two areas: maternal health, and reproductive and sexual health of young people. In 2014, the Foundation determined a final phase of grant-making in reproductive health for Mexico that will focus exclusively on one issue that emerged from support to civil society organizations under its maternal health programming: professional midwifery. This final phase will last from three to five years. MacArthur’s participation in this panel will present the Foundation’s new program, the logic behind it, its objectives and the processes both within the Foundation and within the field in Mexico to build this new phase. MacArthur’s contribution to the panel includes sharing our thinking about exiting fields in which we have been an important actor for years, and our thinking of how to best yield results and impact within a short period of time. This includes broadening the Foundation’s intervention as a grant-making institution to include new activities such as deeper and more frequent engagement with partners from government, civil society and international cooperation agencies; providing resources for a multifaceted communications strategy to raise awareness about professional midwifery; convening meetings and facilitating cross-sectoral coordination and collaboration; and contracting a comprehensive evaluation of the initiative with three specific evaluation points (baseline, midline and end-line).