Generating political priority for maternal mortality reduction in 5 developing countries

Am J Public Health. 2007 May;97(5):796-803. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2006.095455. Epub 2007 Mar 29.


I conducted case studies on the level of political priority given to maternal mortality reduction in 5 countries: Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria. Among the factors that shaped political priority were international agency efforts to establish a global norm about the unacceptability of maternal death; those agencies' provision of financial and technical resources; the degree of cohesion among national safe motherhood policy communities; the presence of national political champions to promote the cause; the deployment of credible evidence to show policymakers a problem existed; the generation of clear policy alternatives to demonstrate the problem was surmountable; and the organization of attention-generating events to create national visibility for the issue. The experiences of these 5 countries offer guidance on how political priority can be generated for other health causes in developing countries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Developing Countries*
  • Female
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Maternal Mortality / trends*
  • Policy Making*
  • Politics*