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Measuring Advocacy for Policy Change: the case for respectful maternity care

Monday, October 21, 2021 to Tuesday, October 22, 2021
Boston, MA

Despite advances in maternal health, ensuring women have skilled care during delivery remains a challenge.  While women around the globe have increasing rates of antenatal care visits, demand for institutional deliveries with skilled attendants remains low in many developing countries. Efforts to overcome infrastructural barriers such as improving geographic and financial access have often not yielded promising results, signaling more needs to be done about other factors affecting delivery decisions.  Evidence indicates one deterrent to the uptake of skilled delivery services may be women’s experiences of disrespectful and abusive care during delivery. As part of an effort to prevent disrespect and abusive care, the field of respectful maternity care is rapidly evolving and expanding in a variety of arenas. As a result, advocacy efforts around the promotion of respectful maternity care continue to emerge, so there is a need to consider how the success of advocacy efforts will be measured.

On October 21st and 22nd, 2013, TRAction and the Maternal Health Task Force brought together nearly fifty people in Boston, Massachusetts to participate in a meeting entitled, Measuring Advocacy for Policy Change: The case for respectful maternity care. The goals of the meeting were threefold: to identify lessons learned from past global health policy advocacy campaigns; to identify key measurement issues and strategies for policy advocacy; and to begin to plan for how policy advocacy for respectful maternity care can be informed by these lessons learned, and how this success can be measured.

Meeting participants included representatives from the maternal health field working in research, program implementation, and advocacy; advocacy experts from a variety of fields; those concerned with measuring advocacy for policy change; and experts in human rights policies and laws. Participants traveled to the meeting from five different continents—North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa—emphasizing the reality that disrespect and abuse is a global issue.

For more details see the meeting materials below, which include the Final Meeting Report.

Meeting materials:


Participant List

Background Brief

Reading List

Final Draft Meeting Report

Blog Post: Day One Recap


Research Area: 
Research Effort: 


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