Join us on Wednesday, July 22, 8 am EDT, for The Future of Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Innovation, co-hosted by Duke University and SL@B. Registration available HERE.

Despite significant progress globally, persistent challenges in maternal, newborn, and child health continue to exist. Many solutions have emerged, ranging from evidence-based implementation programs to novel solutions that leapfrog conventional approaches. This forum brings together leaders from the public and private sectors, innovators, and researchers to present insights from the Saving Lives at Birth (SL@B) program, including findings from the recent program evaluation, and to discuss the path forward for MNCH innovation in the next decade.

Topics include: What are the implications of the SL@B program evaluation? How can the MNCH funding and innovation community better respond to and address current challenges in the innovation space? How can innovation address evolving global MNCH needs and priorities over the next 10 years? How does MNCH innovation funding need to change to maximize impact? What are the most promising trends from innovator and funder perspectives? What are the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on MNCH?


Welcome: Krishna Udayakumar

Panel 1 – Saving Lives at Birth: Impact over the past decade and looking ahead

  • Overview of SL@B: USAID/GCC – Meghan Majorowski. See the SL@B Evaluation Report: Rounds One to Eight (2011-2020)
  • SL@B innovation spotlights: Bempu (Ratul Narain) and Little Sparrows (Donna Brezinski)
  • Insights from the Accelerating SL@B experience: Duke/Venture Well – Laura Sampath, Patricia Odero. The report can be found here.
  • Findings from the SL@B evaluation: Duke – Joy Noel Baumgartner

Discussion: What are the critical insights from the evaluation and the accelerator, and what can funders/donors/key stakeholders in this space do next with these recommendations and findings? Should the SL@B model of a grand challenge for MNCH innovations continue? How can the SL@B partnership and each of its donor organizations use innovation as a vehicle to address key needs in the MNCH space?

Moderator: Meghan Majorowski, CII, USAID


  • Krista Donaldson, D-Rev
  • Renuka Gadde, BD
  • Joy Noel Baumgartner, DGHI Evidence Lab
  • Laura Sampath, VentureWell
  • Patricia Odero, GHIC

Panel 2 – The Future of MNCH innovation

  • Innovation to Scale initiative: Tore Lærdal, Global Health

Discussion: What major changes are coming to the MNCH field in the next 10 years? How can funders, innovators, and accelerators respond to these changes?

Moderator: Deepika Devadas, Grand Challenges Canada


  • Mary-Ann Etiebet, Merck for Mothers
  • Edward Bitarakwate, EGPAF Uganda
  • Zulfi Bhutta, Aga Khan University/ The Hospital for Sick Children
  • Elizabeth Ekirapa, Makarere University
  • Elina Urli Hodges, GHIC
  • John Simon, Total Impact Capital
  • Tore Lærdal, Lærdal Global Health

Closing remarks: Krishna Udayakumar

The Future of Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Innovation: Digital Forum Co-Hosted by Duke University and SL@B