(February 2007) Every year an estimated half million women die in childbirth, mainly from hemorrhage, infection, and complications of abortion. These deaths tend to occur in developing countries plagued by weak health systems and substandard quality of care, among many other deficits.

Despite the attention experts have given to safe motherhood since the 1987 Safe Motherhood Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, the number of women who die in childbirth has changed little in the intervening 20 years.

To help improve childbirth outcomes for mothers, Immpact, a global research initiative that aims to improve maternal health and survival in developing countries, has worked to develop new ways to generate evidence, strengthen the evidence-base by making program evaluations more robust, and increase in-country capacity to use these methods and act on the evidence.

The following interview, policy brief, and fact sheets spell out in greater detail some of Immpact’s early achievements and key findings that will help researchers design more cost-effective safe motherhood strategies.

Immpact Project Fact Sheets

  • A Comprehensive Strategy for Capacity Strengthening (PDF: 117KB)
  • Economic and Financial Tools Assess Safe Motherhood Programme Costs and Benefits (PDF: 113KB)
  • Evaluating Removal of Delivery Fees in Ghana (PDF: 154KB)
  • Evaluating Stillbirths (PDF: 184KB)
  • Globally and Locally, A Rich-Poor Gap Persists (PDF: 150KB)
  • Immpact Key Findings and Policy Implications (PDF: 210KB)
  • Indonesia: Resident Midwives Help Avert Maternal Deaths When Financial Barriers Are Removed (PDF: 147KB)
  • Measuring and Addressing Outcomes After Pregnancy (PDF: 139KB)
  • Overview of Immpact Toolkits (PDF: 87KB)
  • Process Indicators Reveal Important Information About Programme Effectiveness (PDF: 149KB)
  • TRACE: A New Way to Measure Quality of Maternal Health Care (PDF: 116KB)
  • Measuring Maternal Mortality: Challenges, Solutions, and Next Steps (PDF: 118KB)

An Interview With Wendy Graham, Immpact Project


In the following interview with the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), Wendy Graham, principal investigator at Immpact and professor of obstetric epidemiology at the University of Aberdeen, describes innovative approaches Immpact is taking to improve maternal health and survival in developing countries.

Policy Brief: Delivering Safer Motherhood: Sharing the Evidence 

This policy brief (PDF: 130KB) presents key messages that are the result of more than four years of Immpact research in Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Indonesia. Topics discussed include barriers to skilled attendance, new tools to measure maternal deaths, and innovative ways of evaluating safe motherhood programs.