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Saving Lives at Birth A Grand Challenge for Development

Activities: Health/Nutrition,Others

Saving Lives at Birth A Grand Challenge for Development

Grand Challenges Canada, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) have joined together to launch Saving Lives at Birth : A Grand Challenge for Development. Together, we call for groundbreaking prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant women and newborns in poor, hard-to-reach communities around the time of childbirth.

If we are to accelerate substantial and sustainable progress against maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths at the community level, results-driven leaders and innovative approaches to prevention and treatment across three main domains are needed:

  1. Science and technology
  2. Service delivery
  3. “Demand-side” innovation that empowers pregnant women and their families to practice healthy behaviours, and to be aware of and access timely healthcare during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period, especially within the first two days after birth.

Significant breakthroughs often come about when new ideas and disciplines are applied to long-entrenched problems. New approaches can transform insurmountable development challenges into seemingly solvable problems. To harness this ingenuity, we encourage partnerships that bring together diverse expertise from non-traditional partners, particularly those that include private sector partners.

The fourth round of Saving Lives at Birth is now open via We expect to fund proposals through two funding streams: SEED GRANTS (valued generally at $250,000 USD) and TRANSITION-TO-SCALE grants (up to $2 million USD).

Deadline for Proposals is March 27, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. ET

The Partners launched Saving Lives at Birth on March 9, 2011, issuing the first global call for transformative ideas to address this grand challenge. Since 2011, Saving Lives at Birth has supported 59 exciting and potentially transformational solutions through 61 grants – 51 seed and 10 transition to scale – to tackle this grand challenge to dramatically improve women’s and newborns’ health..

Saving Lives at Birth grantees who have completed a minimum of nine months of their grant, who have demonstrated proof of concept and have solutions that are ready to scale are invited to submit a Letter of Intent for the Grand Challenges Canada Phase II – Transition-to-Scale program. Grand Challenges Canada Phase II – Transition-to-Scale grants require 50% matching through partnerships to be eligible for Grand Challenges Canada funding.

Please submit queries to

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