This report, developed by Global Health Visions in partnership with the Global Force for Healing and the National Birth Equity Collaborative, aims to reflect the current funding landscape for maternal and newborn health, rights, and birth equity programs, in the U.S. and around the world. Through an in-depth analysis of U.S.-based donors, the report highlights current trends, gaps, and key recommendations for shaping the future of maternal and newborn health, justice, and equity through the funding landscape, including how donors can be more responsive to community needs and increase impact for all stakeholders.
Through 30 interviews with key donors, donor networks, and collaboratives in the United States (U.S.) as well as input from leaders at 15 key civil society and/or implementing organizations, this report reveals a significant and encouraging shift in thinking about how funding decisions are made and where funding may be more effectively invested to advance progress on maternal and newborn health, rights, and birth justice issues. There is consensus that human rights and equity must be front and center in funders grantmaking approaches. While donors are notably in different stages of progress, almost all interviewees acknowledged the need to shift more funding to grassroots organizations led by local communities and to elevate the power of those communities to drive funding decisions. Many donors are struggling with how to operationalize these shifts from traditional, top-down grantmaking approaches to those that are more participatory and innovative. However, there are some promising models and trends among donors that are questioning the status quo. Key recommendations are outlined in the report, based on an analysis of the trends, gaps, and opportunities.