SCORS comprises of representatives from State and Territory Departments of Recreation and Sport.OSF 2010 will provide an in-depth analysis of the business of sport, with real examples of successful sports business models. Participants will have the opportunity to examine the sustainability of sport and how it can meet any current and future challenges.The forum will provide participants with relevant information, ideas and strategies on building a better national sports system. The program will explore new thinking, risk taking and innovation in the development of sports policy to effect change.There will also be a topical panel discussion that addresses current issues in Australian sport, stimulates new ideas, challenges current ways of thinking, and provides practical information that can be applied to sporting organisations.The forum will feature keynote speakers Bernard Petiot, Vice-President of casting and performance for Cirque Du Soleil and Peter Holmes à Court, one of Australia’s most respected entrepreneurs and businessmen.Other keynote speakers include Avril Henry who is regarded as one of Australia’s leading thinkers and speakers on Generational Diversity and Leadership and Li Cunxin whose bestselling autobiography, Mao’s Last Dancer, tells a remarkable story about his extraordinary life. To register for OSF 2010 visit the event website www.ausport.gov.au/OSF2010osf10@eventplanners.com.au
As a busy organization, it’s rare that you have time to even think about testing your nonprofit email marketing. You’re focused on getting your newsletter or announcement out the door so you can get back to what you do best.But what if running an email marketing test didn’t need to take a ton of time? What if, instead, it could fit in with the work you’re already doing and still provide the insight you need to improve your results?It starts with understanding what you want to test.Focus on testing one thing at a time. If you test more than one element in the same email, it is challenging (and sometimes impossible) to determine exactly what influenced the response.Here are some easy and telling tests to start with:Subject lines: Create two different subject lines for the same email communication. For example, if you’re planning a fundraising event, you may want to test if adding the event date or name to the subject line influences open rates.Long versus short copy: Create a shorter version of your newsletter with teasers and links to your website or blog and another that includes more content within the design of your email.Experiment with CTAs: The call to action (CTA), is one of the most important parts of any email. To help perfect your CTAs and see what’s working, you can test different copy and even experiment with different buttons within your email.Other tests could include the time of day or day of the week you send, with an image or without, and the placement of a CTA button or link.Now, decide how you’ll measure your results. For subject lines, your most effective metric will be open rates. This will tell you how many people saw your email in their inbox and took the next step to open it.For tests within the copy of your email, focus on clicks. This will tell you how many people not only opened it, but who also viewed your content and took some action within the email.Think about what you’re trying to learn. If your goal is to find out how the length of your email or the type of content you include influences donations or registrations, you’ll want to track donations and compare them with previous results. If you’re driving traffic to your website or blog, you can use a tool like Google Analytics to track referral traffic to your site.Once you know what you want to test and how you’ll measure your results, now you can put the test in motion. When it comes to who you’ll send your test to, you have two options: You can either split your entire nonprofit email list in half and send one version to each, or take a random sample and do a pre-test.A pre-test is an excellent way to find out what works before sending an email to your entire list. This knowledge can greatly improve your overall response rate. It also protects you from sending a poor performing email test to a large portion of your list and wasting your efforts. To pre-test, choose a random sampling of 100 people from your master nonprofit email list, then split that group in half and send each half one of the two test campaigns.Once you have everything ready, send your test emails. The great thing about email is that you get your results quickly. Within a 24- to 48-hour period, you’ll know which email communication got a better result. (It takes weeks when testing with direct mail!)Declare your winner, send that email to the remaining members of your list, and watch the results come in.It’s really that simple.Testing your nonprofit email marketing is about listening to your audience—something nonprofits know better than anyone! Let their actions tell you what’s working, what’s not, and what you could be doing differently. This will not only help improve your email marketing but will let you better connect with the people who matter most to your organization and attract more donors, supporters, and volunteers.As Constant Contact’s Content Developer, Ryan Pinkham helps small businesses and nonprofits recognize their full potential through marketing and social media.
A truly sustainable funding model is the holy grail of nonprofits. A great way to achieve that goal is by making sure you have a diversified revenue stream that includes individual donations, fees for service, and grant funding. A healthy organization can stack up these funding sources for a strong foundation that supports their mission. Grant seekers ask us for lots of advice, so we chatted with Cynthia Adams, president and CEO of GrantStation and a longtime friend of Network for Good, about a new way of approaching grant funding, including a recently launched resource called the PathFinder.NFG: Cynthia, what have you found to be the biggest hurdle for nonprofits looking to secure grants?Cynthia Adams: Actually, there are three significant hurdles. First you have to thoroughly identify what you need the funding for, which isn’t as simple as it sounds! Second, you have to identify the right grant makers to approach for the funding. And third, you need the skills to develop and write compelling grant requests.Most organizations are familiar with the tried-and-true grant makers, but what are some overlooked sources of grant funding?CA: I am very fond of looking outside the box when identifying potential funders for a project. For example, I like to look at national and international associations. These groups, especially those associations representing companies that manufacture goods, can often be fabulous sources of support. The Toy Industry Association offers literally thousands of donated toys via the Toy Industry Foundation.What do you recommend to organizations that don’t have someone on staff who can take on researching, applying for, and managing grants? Does this require a full-time person?CA: It depends on the size of the organization and the number of grant proposals you expect to submit. At GrantStation, we’ve just launched a new free resource called the PathFinder. It includes tons of resources in a searchable database to help everyone from novices to the most experienced individual in the areas of grant research, grant writing, and grant management.We talk a lot about storytelling and reporting on impact for individual donors. Where does this fit in with grant funding?CA: Storytelling is an integral part of the grant-writing process. You want to engage the person reviewing your proposal right off the bat, so opening your request with a true-life story is a great way to do that. I often include a case study or “story” in the statement of need as well.What’s the smartest way for fundraisers to combine grant funding with making the most of gifts from individual donors?CA: I had this rule of thumb when I was working as a development director for nonprofits: I would use any significant gift from an individual to leverage any grant proposal I was working on. So, if someone came by and made a $1,000 gift, and I was working on a proposal to upgrade all the office equipment, website, etc., I would ask that donor if I could use their gift to help leverage the grant. It worked for me!Thank you so much, Cynthia, for sharing your insights on new ways to approach grant funding. For more help with expanding your funding base with grants, download our archived webinar with Cynthia Adams, Getting Started with Grants: How to Make Your Requests Shine.
The secret to better campaign results, more engaged donors, and board buy-in is a thoughtful and clear fundraising plan. While we all know we need a plan, sometimes it’s not always easy to make time to create a realistic plan and in many cases, we may not have the information we need to make the right strategic decisions. If you’re like most small nonprofits, it’s likely that your plan is missing a critical element—clean, accurate fundraising data.Your Fundraising Plan Must Be Based on Accurate Fundraising DataHaving the right data on your campaign performance, funding sources, donor history, and giving patterns will allow you to make smarter decisions on how to spend your time and resources going forward. Why is this so important?You’ll know what’s working, and what’s not.Sounds obvious, right? But most nonprofits are surprised when they see their aggregated fundraising results and campaign data. As trends emerge, you can make better decisions on what to do more of…and what to stop doing in the coming year. You can double down on the tactics and messages that work best for your supporters.You can identify donor segments and create strategies for them.Once you understand who your new, major, recurring, lapsed, and event donors are, you can develop tailored outreach to best reach and convert them. (Just getting started with donor segmentation? We have a simple planning template that will help you maximize your communications.)You’ll have more credibility with your board.You can feel more confident presenting your plan to your board when you have the data to back it up vs. relying on a hunch or opinions. Having a data-backed plan will also help you answer questions and fend off “creative tinkering” from well-meaning board members.You’ll know what you need to spend to meet your fundraising goals.Armed with the data about your past fundraising results and donor opportunities, you can project how much you’ll need to spend (and which resources to allocate) to make the plan happen.Need some help getting a better fundraising plan in place and figuring out how to collect, compile, and understand the data you need? Check out this upcoming webinar to learn simple steps for quickly creating a solid plan that will allow you to reach your small nonprofit’s funding goals this year.Register for this webinar now and learn How to Create Your 12-Month Fundraising Plan!
Posted on November 16, 2012Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)On November 2nd, the Economist published an article, Out of the Basket, that explores reasons for progress in a country they describe as one of the most intriguing puzzles in development: Bangladesh.From the story:City states apart, it is the world’s most densely populated country, with around 150m people crammed onto the delta of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, an area regularly swept by devastating floods. Its private sector is weak and its government widely perceived as corrupt and dysfunctional.And yet Bangladesh has done better than most countries at improving the basic standard of living of its people. Bangladeshis can expect to live four years longer than Indians even though they are much poorer. The country has achieved some of the largest reductions in early deaths of infants, children and women in childbirth ever seen anywhere.So that is the puzzle: Bangladesh combines economic disappointment with social progress. The Economist suggests four factors to explain why.Read the full story here.For a more detailed report on development in Bangladesh from the Economist, click here.Read the accompanying editorial here.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on January 17, 2014August 10, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Members of the White Ribbon Alliance contributed the following comments regarding post-MDG maternal mortality targetsAs we approach the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, what does the future hold for international maternal mortality targets? The MHTF is pleased to be hosting a blog series on post-2015 maternal mortality goal setting. Over the next several weeks, we will be featuring responses and reactions to proposed targets from around the world. Please share your thoughts with us!By Rahmatullah Niazmal, Consultant for PDM 1 & 2 and Overall Supervisor for RHP2, JICA-Reproductive Health Project Phase 2, Ministry of Public Health, AfghanistanAfghanistan is one of the countries which has high maternal mortality ratio (MMR). The current MMR is about 327/100000 live births. Respectively under-five mortality is 97 /1000 live births and, and the infant mortality rate is 77/1000 live births, according to the Afghanistan Mortality Survey, and the contraceptive prevalence rate is about 20 percent. The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has committed to improving access to maternal and reproductive health care; and enhancing the quality reproductive health care services is one the MoPH’s top priorities. However, still, there are challenges that MoPH has been competing with. Despite huge efforts that have been put by MoPH for the last one decade, much work remains to be done to maintain the current progress and improve further.The following are the goals for reaching beyond 2015:Increase access and utilization of quality reproductive health servicesIncrease deployment and distribution of trained SBA at national levelDecrease the number of home deliveries – which currently account for a greater proportion of births than institutional deliveriesFill the gap between knowledge(>90%) and utilization (20%) of family planning servicesLower the adolescent birth rate and reduce child marriage in the country.Build capacity at the national level about breast and cervical cancer for early prevention and treatmentEnhance capacity for obstetric fistula treatment, prevention and re-integration at the national levelRaise awareness about STIs, HIV and AIDS among adolescents and vulnerable populations.By Ronald Wonder, Managing Partner, PLUS CONSULTS, UgandaMy thinking on this issue is that targets are useful in driving progress in countries including Uganda but absolute targets are much better. It should then go further to set quotas for respective districts, starting with those with high mortality rates and trickle down to household in the sub counties.This would give more meaning to policy makers, individual and civil society organization making an effort to curb this problem among expectant mothers in Uganda.Keep the fight on to protect our mothers.By Jonas Fadweck, Youth Director and patron of Thuchila Youth Empowerment Programme, Project Officer of WHCCA-Malawi, member to White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, and Girl Rising Regional Ambassador, UgandaIn order to improve maternal health in countries such as Malawi, I believe the following should be made priorities under the next development agenda:To increase rural bicycle ambulances for easy transport, especially in the community, for pregnant women: many women die before reaching the hospital, and many others deliver on the road before reaching a health facility – which is a disaster.To train other community members and/or increase expertise in the field in order to reduce the work load for nurses and midwives.To establish community mobilization campaigns to help people realize the importance of women to deliver at the hospital, attending antenatal clinics, and the consequences of teenage pregnancies.To introduce and increase maternity wings to health centres that now have no maternity services.To promote and encourage transparency and accountability.These are some of the contributions we can make to enshre more women and reach target goals.By Kezaabu Edwidge, Project Coordinator, Health Community Empowerment Project, UgandaThere is a great concern on maternal health and the situation is alarming: mothers are still dying in labour and post delivery due to problems related to pregnancy, labor and pueperium. Involvement of all stakeholders is of paramount importance. In Uganda, young people, in particular adolescents and youths engaged in unprotected sex – who face unwanted pregnancy – require more attention. This is important to address the issue of teenage pregnancy, and related concerns such as abortion. The issue of male involvement at all levels starting with the families, then to managers and leaders of all categories. Family planning is also a concern as most people shun off services because of ignorance, the myths and misconception and the unmet need.By Jonathan LugemwaA percentage target is appropriate: taking into account previous methodologies used in communities before these formal interventions came into practice because our current surveys describe that formal interventions which are brought to the people in a provisional standards without their consent are less eligible to create permanent change so its very much vital to include especially the local populations.By Uhawenimana Thierry Claudien, Public Relations and Communications Officer, University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health SciencesThere are considerable efforts underway to reduce neonatal mortality and maternal mortality in Rwanda, which now has a maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 340 deaths per 100,000 live births. However, a lot needs to be done in order to ensure no mother or child should die as a result of child birth or pregnancy complications.In some rural areas in Rwanda – mainly in the mountainous areas that are hard to reach – I have noticed that the physical settings may be the leading factor in maternal and child deaths. Some villages are far from the health facilities (7-8 kms) and the roads leading there are not well furnished. This leads some pregnant mothers to not complete the four recommended antenatal care (ANC) visits, which are vital to the safe pregnancy and delivery. Some women deliver along the way to the health center due to circumstances leading to the delay at home, and the delay to reach the health facility.Thus I would like that in the next targets to reduce maternal and child mortality, governments should put much emphasis on making the population aware of the birth preparedness and complication readiness; and also removing the barriers that impede the population from accessing obstetric services in a timely way, such as reducing the distance to the health facilities in areas that are hard to reach, availing ambulances at health centers that are far from the district hospitals, increasing the community health workers’ skills and knowledge to deal with some pregnancy related complications.As the number of adolescent girls who become pregnant increases in Rwanda, there is a need to educate them on health policies, including on how they can receive adolescent friendly services near them; and mobilize the whole community to go beyond the limits of culture and religion and support the sexual and reproductive health information on behalf of the adolescent. By doing this, no adolescent girl will be stigmatized because she has used contraceptives, and those who will accidentally get pregnant will not hide it; something that put them under the risk of death or injury. In addition, the rate of abortion will be reduced among this age group.There is a need to involve men in maternal and child health initiatives by giving them the knowledge and necessary skills required for them to support mothers and babies, as well as helping them understand their interests in embracing that role. Thus, there will play a key role in empowering the girls to be confident of themselves and to say no to unwanted sexual intercourse pulses, or will not seek to exploit you girls sexually.As for family planning, there is a need to train more professionals in providing services of family planning and who are experts in contraception usage. There is a tendency nowadays that nurses or midwives only administer any method of FP to a woman and at the end of the day, she faces side effects some of which may be fatal. But, if we have experts in contraceptives’ administration and counseling, some of the issues and myths preventing people from accessing the services will be kept at arm’s length. In addition to this, there is a need to keep on increasing the number of skilled birth attendants so that they be proportional to the number of deliveries taking place in health centers and hospitals. This will improve the service delivery given to the mothers and will reduce some of the risks associated with overloading the health personnel.Lastly, laws related to maternal and child health should be incorporated in the country’s legal framework and on top of that, the existing laws should be revised and even hold accountable men who impregnate girls and abandon them or those who refuse to support their pregnant partners among many others.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
When you want to contact your donors, chances are, you email them. And so does everybody else.Your donors, through no fault of their own, have inboxes that are constantly bogged down with messages from various organizations, businesses, stores, news outlets, and bloggers. And it’s a rare person who actually reads all of it.So, how do you “cut through the clutter?” Here are five tips to ensure your email reaches (and resonates) with your donors:Tip 1: Think Before You Write.Before you start typing, think about why you’re writing. What is the purpose of the email? Is it to get the word out about your nonprofit’s recent activities? Is it to invite donors to an event? Is it an appeal for donations? The most effective emails focus on one thing. In other words, don’t combine the invitation to join the peer-to-peer campaign with a program announcement and sign off with a donation request to fund a new roof.Sure, you have a lot of things to tell your donors, but unless this is your periodic newsletter (and formatted as such), keep each email to one topic. If the need is vital, it deserves its own email. Need help narrowing down your list? Write down what you want to say and prioritize the messages by need.Once you’ve finalized your email’s topic, it’s time to start an outline. “Outline?” you say. “It’s just an email. What do I need an outline for?” True – emails should be short – but again, we’re going for effectiveness here, and there’s nothing like an outline to keep your writing focused.Here’s what I’m suggesting: At the top of your outline, write the goal of this email (e.g. “get donations to the Spring campaign”). Then, jot down whatever supporting points or bits of information that you think will encourage your readers to take that action. Once you’ve got this bit figured out, you have my permission to start writing.Tip 2: Craft a Killer Subject Line.The hardest thing to write is always the first line. It’s no different when it comes to an email. And there’s a lot of pressure resting on this line, especially when 35% of people say that their decision to open an email comes from subject line alone. How do you write a subject line that convinces your donors to click?In the words of author Ann Handley, ask yourself: “WWYO – What Would You Open?”Many studies have investigated what makes a subject line effective, and they all seem to agree on a few key points:Keep it short, but on point. Too short and it’s not explicit enough, too long and you’ll lose your reader’s attention. Practically speaking, if the subject line is too long, it will probably get cut off in the recipient’s email reader. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 6-8 words.Personalization helps. People love reading their names. Use tokens to include your recipients’ name in the subject line, so it appears you’re addressing each person directly. And, in general, the subject line should relate to something that sets the sender apart or fits with a more narrow interest. For example, “How your dollars are making a difference?”Avoid sounding like spam. Certain words are spam triggers, and if you use them in a subject line, your donors’ email provider could move the message directly to the spam folder. Also, don’t use all caps in the subject line. Not only does it look like you’re shouting, but it also makes your message more likely to end up in the spam folder. Your subject line should relate to what it’s introducing.Tip 3: Make Your Copy Count.The writer’s classic, The Elements of Style, argues that every word of every sentence should serve a purpose, or be deleted. You don’t have to be quite so ruthless with your emails, but you should try to keep your messages short and succinct. Write no more (and no less!) than it takes to get your message across. Some studies show that the optimal email length is 50-100 words. Of course, some of your emails may need to be longer (like an appeal) but, the principle of brevity still applies.The email marketing platform in Network for Good’s donor management system has pre-built templates for appeals, acknowledgements, and more. Curious to see it up close? Click here to request a demo.And while we’re on the subject of your email copy, remember that you’re writing to humans. Humans have a sense of humor. You don’t have to be all business, all the time. If people find your emails warm, friendly, and even a little entertaining, they’re more likely to keep reading time after time.What else can you do to make sure your email is effective? Stay away from large “spray and pray” blasts to your entire list. Breaking your list into smaller segments allows you to write more effective messages. For example, the thank you message you send to recurring donors should probably be different than the one you send send to first-time donors.Tip 4: Have a Clear Call to Action.The body of your email serves one purpose, to draw your recipients to your Call To Action (CTA).Your CTA is what you want your recipient to do after reading the email. For example, if the goal is asking for donations, the CTA would be “Donate now.”Your email should always have one goal and one CTA. Let me repeat: it is always a bad idea to have more than one CTA. Why? Distraction. If you put multiple CTAs in an email, your audience is going to get confused and distracted. Worst of all, they’re not going take the action you want.Tip 5: Track and Tweak.How do you know if your emails are working? Your email marketing platform should show you two basic statistics: open rates and click rates. The open rate (what percentage of recipients opened your email) will tell you how successful your subject line was. The click rate will show you what percentage of recipients clicked a link in your email. To judge the effectiveness of your email copy, look at the click-to-open rate, which is the percentage of clicks from the people who opened the email.As a rule, always be testing. If that last subject line got a 20% open rate, see what you can do to bump it to 23%. If you had a high open rate and a really low click rate, review the copy and find ways to make it more compelling.There are a lot of options for email marketing systems, but only Network for Good donor management combines built-in email marketing with a personal fundraising coach to help you craft the perfect appeal. Develop targeted lists of donors from standard and custom filters. Then, draft your email from scratch or use one of our pre-built templates. All of the data from your email (opens, clicks, etc.) lives in your donor management, and your donor profiles are updated to show who got the email and how they responded. And acknowledgement tracking? That’s automatic. Click here to see it up close in a personal demo.
Posted on April 25, 2017May 19, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)According to the most recent Global Burden of Disease data, deaths due to malaria have decreased substantially over the past few decades. Global malaria mortality rates have dropped by 44% between 1990 – when malaria was the tenth most common cause death – and 2015 – when malaria was the 20th most common cause of death. Despite this progress, roughly half a million people died from malaria in 2015 alone, and 92% of those deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. The Global Technical Strategy for Malaria (2016-2030) calls for a 40% reduction in malaria case incidence by 2020, but only half of malaria endemic countries are currently on track to achieve this goal.Pregnant women and newborns living in malaria endemic areas are especially vulnerable. Malaria in pregnancy (MiP) continues to play a large role in global maternal deaths. In 2015, malaria was the third most common cause of death among women of reproductive age in Africa. During that year, MiP was estimated to have been responsible for more than 400,000 cases of maternal anemia and approximately 15% of maternal deaths globally. Unfortunately, the women who are most vulnerable to malaria are often the least protected against it. MiP also poses a significant threat to newborns because it can cause spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, premature delivery, low birth weight and neonatal mortality.Coverage of malaria prevention, screening and treatment among pregnant women remains low in many areas of sub-Saharan Africa, despite investments in MiP and clear evidence of effective interventions. In order to combat MiP, intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) should start early in the second trimester of pregnancy (ideally at week 13) with three or more doses of the antimalarial sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and continue monthly over the course of the pregnancy until delivery. Based on available data, the percentage of eligible women receiving three or more doses of IPTp increased from 6% in 2010 to 31% in 2015. Still, much work is needed to ensure that pregnant women and newborns across the globe are protected against malaria.Access resources related to malaria in pregnancy>>Learn more about World Malaria Day>>Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on November 3, 2017November 6, 2017By: Staff, Maternal Health Task ForceClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Interested in a position in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child or adolescent health? Every month, the Maternal Health Task Force rounds up job and internship postings from around the globe.AfricaChief of Party: Management Sciences for Health (MSH); Benin-CotonouCommunity Health Systems Technical Advisor: MSH; Benin-CotonouDeputy Chief of Party, Improving Market Partnerships and Access to Commodities Together (IMPACT): Population Services International (PSI); Antananarivo, MadagascarMonitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Director: Jhpiego; MadagascarM&E Technical Advisor: MSH; Benin-CotonouTechnical Director: Jhpiego; MadagascarAsiaDeputy Chief of Party, Cambodia: PSI; Phnom Penh, CambodiaNorth AmericaDirector, Provincial Registry, Surveillance, Performance & Analytics: Perinatal Services BC; Vancouver, BCMaternal and Child Health Monitoring and Evaluation Intern: Global Health Fellows Program II/USAID; Washington, D.C./Arlington, VAMaternal and Child Health Research Intern: Global Health Fellows Program II/USAID; Washington, D.C./Arlington, VAPerformance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) Research Data Manager: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Baltimore, MDPMA2020: Senior Research Assistant: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Baltimore, MDProgram Coordinator (Limited term): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Seattle, WAProject Assistant – Willows Reproductive Health Research Project: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Boston, MARegistered Nurse – Nurse-Family Partnership: Saint Louis County Department of Public Health; St. Louis, MOSenior Communications and Knowledge Management Specialist: Abt Associates; Bethesda, MDSenior Manager, Women Deliver 2019 Conference: Women Deliver; New York, NYTechnical Specialist, Adolescents and Youth: UNFPA; New York, NY—Is your organization hiring? Please contact us if you have maternal health job or internship opportunities that you would like included in our next job roundup.
Posted on November 8, 2017November 13, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)A brief historyDistance to a health facility has long been discussed as a key barrier to maternal health care utilization in rural areas, and researchers have explored innovative models for improving access. One of these models is the use of maternity waiting homes (MWHs), residential facilities located near a maternity clinic where pregnant women—often those at high risk of developing obstetric complications—can go during their third trimester and await labor and delivery. MWHs existed in rural areas of Northern Europe, Canada and the United States in the early 20th century and were introduced soon thereafter in other areas including Cuba, Nigeria and Uganda.Since then, MWHs have been established all over the world to increase skilled attendance at birth and improve maternal and newborn health outcomes.“The distance, it’s difficult for the woman to walk when she feels the labor pains from home coming here. It’s better for her to come here and stay.” [MWH user, Zambia]The use of MWHs has been linked to reductions in maternal and perinatal mortality in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Zimbabwe. However, due to a lack of strong evidence in this area, researchers have not been able to conclude definitively that MWHs lead to fewer maternal deaths. Furthermore, some studies have found that MWHs did not result in a higher proportion of facility-based deliveries, indicating that the success of MWHs often depends on the local context.Barriers to utilizationThere are several challenges that can limit the effectiveness of MWHs including:No knowledge that MWH existsFood insecurity at MWHsHigh cost of traveling to MWHLack of culturally appropriate careLow decision-making autonomy and dependence on family supportInability to leave children at homeLimited space at MWHsConfusion about estimated delivery datePoor health worker attitudesRoom for improvementSeveral factors contribute to the successful implementation of MWHs, such as male involvement, financial sustainability, strong management, standardized indications for MWH admission, community engagement, functioning referral systems and, above all, the quality of the services provided. An adequate supply of essential resources and a properly-trained health workforce are critical to ensuring that women receive high quality, respectful maternity care once they arrive at the facility from the MWH.When possible, communities should be involved in the design, implementation and monitoring of MWHs. With careful consideration of these factors as well as the barriers to utilization outlined above, MWHs have the potential to reduce inequities in access to skilled birth attendance. Additional research to evaluate the effects of MHWs in rural areas is needed to assess whether they can result in better outcomes for moms and babies.—Check out a presentation from the 2015 Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference, “Developing Sustainable Maternity Homes in Zambia: Formative Research With Women, Communities and Stakeholders in Luapula Province.”Learn more about distance as a barrier to maternal health on the Maternal Health Task Force blog.Read the World Health Organization’s “Recommendations on Health Promotion Interventions for Maternal and Newborn Health,” which include MWHs.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: