This project is being undertaken by a collaborative group of researchers, doctors and midwives in the Bangalore Birth Network (BBN), The International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Banashankari Referral Hospital (BRH).

The International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization (IMBCO) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization created to develop, regularly update, and promote the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative (IMBCI): 10 Steps to Optimal Maternity Services worldwide. IMBCO is an established international NGO with a multidisciplinary Board of Directors, and an Advisory Council comprising experts in maternal and newborn health, researchers, and clinicians. It currently supports 9 demonstration sites worldwide. Demonstration sites receive considerable technical assistance from the IMBCO in the form of intervention protocols, training materials, active dissemination materials, data collection tools, questionnaires and expert clinical advice. The IMBCO does not provide monetary support for the various demonstration sites.

The IMBCO has undertaken an international survey on mother-friendly maternity care in 160+ countries; developed the Ten Steps to Optimal MotherBaby Maternity Services with representatives of 15 international organizations; attracted nine successful demonstration-sites across the world; disseminated IMBCI Ten Steps through multi-media platforms; created a global Community of Practice that meets regularly through Webinars; and developed and started testing a human-rights based women’s questionnaire, several guides for IMBCI Ten Steps implementation, and a list of variables to measure success.

The proposed site for the demonstration project is the BBMP Banashankari Referral Hospital (BRH), a 30 bed referral hospital that specializes in maternity care. Cases are referred there from government antenatal clinics, dispensaries and other less advanced maternity homes. The facility provides 24-hour care and has an operation theatre where caesarean sections are performed. There is no blood bank facility. Medical staff at BRH includes nurses and doctors such as obstetrician, general practice physician, paediatrician and anaesthesiologist. Like in most BBMP facilities many of the sanctioned posts at BRH are vacant.

Banashankari BBMP Maternity Hospital is located in south Bangalore on the edge of a large series of slums. Slum residents are the main recipients of care from the hospital. Typical occupations of women living in the slums include domestic work, work in the garment industry and in incense factories.