Research Priorities

Prevention, implementation, strengthening women’s capacity, and provision of quality care

Based on the evidence presented in the 2014 Lancet Series on Midwifery, a group of multidisciplinary researchers, clinicians, and advocates conducted research with WHO to identify the top research priorities to improve maternal and newborn health (Kennedy et al., 2016). These were further refined in 2018 (Kennedy et al., 2018). A group of the original Lancet Series on Midwifery authors and additional international stakeholders held a strategic planning retreat to further refine the priorities to those we believe should draw our focus and collaboration.

Our Research Priorities

Priority One - Midwifery and Other Care Models

INVESTIGATE the impact of quality maternal and newborn care and in particular the contribution of midwifery, on maternal, newborn, and related outcomes across diverse settings.

Priority Two - Optimizing Childbearing Physiology

IDENTIFY and describe aspects of care that optimize or disturb physiology for all childbearing women, people and their fetus/newborn/infant.

Priority Three - Measures and Benchmarks

DETERMINE which indicators, measures, and benchmarks are most valuable in assessing quality maternal and newborn care across settings, including the views of those who bear children; and develop new ones to address identified gaps.

Our Crosscutting Priorities

Expanding Research

CATALYZE the conduct, translation, and implementation of research that meets the needs and preferences of women, infants, and all families.


ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN a communication plan, including an online platform to serve those working on collective QMNC research aims and activities.

Equity & Inclusion

APPLY AN EQUITY LENS to all Alliance activities, both internally and externally, recognizing that appropriate language and representation will differ according to community and context.

Research & Capacity Building

INCREASE the commitment of organizations and funders to QMNC research, as demonstrated through enhanced investment in relevant research and capacity building.