Announcing the Results for THE MATERNAL & INFANT HEALTH AWARD — MEET THE Awardees!


Learn more about the Maternal & Infant Health Award.
Help us improve and accelerate equitable maternal and infant health outcomes around the world.


Mothers are often considered the anchors of our society, yet women in low-resource countries and communities often lack access to safe, equitable, and quality maternal and infant healthcare. According to the most recent data, over 800 women die each day from preventable complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. For each of those, an additional 20 to 30 women suffer delivery-related injuries, infections, and disabilities. Meanwhile, in 2019, approximately 5.2 million children under the age of five died—the majority from preventable and treatable causes, such as birth asphyxia, pneumonia, congenital anomalies, diarrhea, and malaria. Too often, access to maternal and infant healthcare is determined by location, socio-economic status, and race. Inadequate maternal healthcare can result in undetected, severe complications for both the mother and child—the majority of which are preventable through timely intervention, treatment, and adequate care.  

Improving maternal and infant health outcomes is a global priority under Sustainable Global Development (SDG) 3: to ensure good health and well-being for all. Despite significant progress in the last decade, achieving SDG 3 by 2030 will not be possible if we do not prioritize marginalized communities. It is in this spirit that this Award calls for solutions that are grounded in and led by communities most proximate to the challenges in order to advance equitable maternal and infant health outcomes.


The Maternal & Infant Health Award seeks bold solutions that will improve and accelerate equitable maternal and infant health outcomes among marginalized communities across the globe. Organizations from around the world are encouraged to apply. Competitive proposals will offer solutions that are community-led, impactful, durable, and, feasible.  As we embark on this journey to improve and accelerate equitable maternal and infant health outcomes, we invite you to share your transformative community-led solutions.  


We have designed a process that is fair, open, and transparent. Once the application period closes, our team will confirm that each submission meets the requirements and rules before advancing first to Peer-to-Peer review and then to the Evaluation Panel review. Once evaluations are complete, the Maternal & Infant Health Award team will review the top-scoring submissions and may request additional information as needed in order to select up to five Finalists who will move on to the next phase.  

$1 million will be split among the Finalists who will work with an expert team to strengthen, revise, and resubmit their proposals, host site visits, and share their more detailed plan to implement the proposed solution. The $9 million grant will be given to one of the Finalists, who will be named the Maternal & Infant Health Awardee.

Proposed solutions must be led by an eligible organization and can be international or U.S. based. Strong solutions will be:

Community-Led: Actively shifts the balance of power to local communities, empowers proximate leaders, and fosters community ownership.
Impactful: Addresses root causes and systemic barriers in a manner that significantly alters health outcomes for the communities most impacted by the issue with clear and measurable progress.  
Creates sustainable sources of power, including financial resources, with which to support itself.  
Feasible: Lead by a team with skills, capacity, and relationships to implement the proposed strategy or has a plan in place to build the requisite skills or strategic partners.
60 Days to Register
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“Many mothers and infants worldwide still have little or no access to fundamental health services. Though we’ve made some progress, it’s not been nearly enough. Globally, mortality rates remain high, and, in the U.S., maternal and infant health outcomes are marked by stark racial disparities. With this award, we are focused on sourcing and scaling community-led solutions that will drive improvements in maternal and infant health for the most marginalized communities.”
- Co-founder, The Patchwork Collective

Founded as a nonprofit affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 2019, Lever for Change has influenced more than $800 million in grants and provided support to more than 140 organizations to date. We have worked with leading philanthropists, family foundations, and large philanthropic institutions on large-scale, open-call challenges including the Stronger Democracy Award, Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award, Equality Can’t Wait Challenge, Racial Equity 2030, and more.  

Lever for Change leverages investments in solutions to the world’s biggest problems — from racial and gender equity to climate change. By matching donors with problem solvers — through customized challenges and tailored funding opportunities — Lever for Change accelerates social change. Outstanding teams from these challenges form the Bold Solutions Network, which focuses on elevating organizations and catalyzing further funding.

We center our work on the core values of openness, transparency, equity, and inclusion. We take intentional steps to ensure that these values are represented throughout our challenges by publicly sharing information about the process including the full application, timeline, eligibility rules, as well as the evaluation criteria and panel. Our challenges include multiple rounds of evaluation, which ensure that applicants receive feedback on their proposals from peers and expert reviewers.


We want to amplify the impact of the Maternal & Infant Health Award and are actively seeking to support more of the proposed solutions we receive. We invite other donors committed to improving maternal and infant health to join as a donor partner. Please contact us to express your interest, and we will be in touch with more information.


The Maternal & Infant Health Award will host Q&A webinars in the weeks leading up to the registration and submission deadlines. Information to sign up for these webinars will be emailed to those who have registered for the Award and will be available on News & Updates.

In the meantime, please email to request more information regarding eligibility, requirements, and other Award-related questions.

Join us in supporting these promising solutions.

If you’re interested in funding or learning more about any of the awardees or finalists, please contact us.

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