This open access edited book brings together new research on the mechanisms by which maternal and reproductive health policies are formed and implemented in diverse locales around the world, from global policy spaces to sites of practice. The authors - both internationally respected anthropologists and new voices - demonstrate the value of ethnography and the utility of reproduction as a lens through which to generate rich insights into professionals' and lay people's intimate encounters with policy.
Authors look closely at core policy debates in the history of global maternal health across six different continents, including:
- Women's use of misoprostol for abortion in Burkina Faso
- The place of traditional birth attendants in global maternal health
- Donor-driven maternal health programs in Tanzania
- Efforts to integrate qualitative evidence in WHO maternal and child health policy-making
Anthropologies of Global Maternal and Reproductive Health will engage readers interested in critical conversations about global health policy today. The broad range of foci makes it a valuable resource for teaching in medical anthropology, anthropology of reproduction, and interdisciplinary global health programs. The book will also find readership amongst critical public health scholars, health policy and systems researchers, and global public health practitioners.
About the Author:
Lauren J. Wallace, PhD is a Senior Researcher at Dodowa Health Research Centre in Ghana. She is a medical anthropologist whose research critically examines the making and implementation of maternal and reproductive health policies at national and sub-national levels. Her PhD (2017, McMaster University, Canada), funded by a Vanier Scholarship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, was an ethnographic study of family size and family planning in northern Ghana. She has since 'studied up' to examine the dynamics of national priority setting for maternal and reproductive health in Ghana and Uganda. Dr. Wallace is currently the Ghana Principal Investigator of the COVID-19 in West and Central Africa (CATALYSE) study, which examines policy and systems responses to COVID-19 in 6 West and Central African Countries in collaboration with national policymakers. She has also worked on other large-scale, interdisciplinary global health studies as a consultant. Presently, she consults on longitudinal research into responsive and effective primary health care in urban settlements in Accra in collaboration with local governments in Ghana. As an interim board member of the newly-formed Canadian Association for Global Health, Dr. Wallace leads consultations and provides oversight to inform decisions on policy, governance, staffing, and strategic directions. She is presently an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University, where she has also held an appointment as an instructor in the Midwifery Education Program.
Margaret E. MacDonald, PhD is Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Anthropology at York University in Toronto, Canada. As a medical anthropologist, her interests lie in how cultures of biomedicine, science, and technology shape ideas, practices, and materialities of gender, health, and reproduction. She conducts research in a range of settings across the globe: with midwives and their clients in Canada; within a community of global maternal health advocates and policy makers; and in rural and remote Senegal where non-governmental organisations implement interventions to improve maternal health. Her work in the global health arena has focused on key debates and emerging tools in the campaigns to improve maternal health care and reduce maternal death in low-resource settings: the controversial place of traditional birth attendants in maternal health; the production and uses of photography, film and infographics as affective, aesthetic information about sexual and reproductive health; and the emergence of new biomedical-technical solutions embedded in feminist politics. Dr. MacDonald currently leads a collaborative project looking at the work of midwives and the experiences of clients in Ontario Canada during COVID-19 with particular attention to the impacts of the pandemic on marginalized and racialized groups.
Katerini T. Storeng, PhD, MSc., is Associate Professor at the University of Oslo's Centre for the Development and the Environment, and head of its interdisciplinary Global Health Politics research group. She is a medical anthropologist whose ethnographic research takes a critical perspective on how global norms, values and power relations influence debates about evidence and health policy processes and practice. Her PhD (2010, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London, UK) was an ethnographic study of the making of the global Safe Motherhood Initiative. She has since studied the social and political dynamics of global public-private partnerships in global health governance like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, including how such partnerships engage civil society. Her current research, funded by the Research Council of Norway, examines new forms of partnership between public health agencies and pharmaceutical and technology corporations established in response to COVID-19. As Honorary Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Dr. Storeng has also collaborated on several large-scale, interdisciplinary studies on maternal health, notably longitudinal research into the social consequences of pregnancy-related illness, unsafe abortion and catastrophic healthcare expenditure in Burkina Faso.