Client name: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

Duration: 2009 - 2015

Location: Indonesia  

Supporting Indonesia’s efforts to improve maternal and neonatal health services and reduce deaths due to pregnancy complications or poor post-natal care. 


Indonesia has the highest maternal mortality rate in South East Asia. Approximately 228 women die for every 100,000 live births. In poor provinces in eastern Indonesia, the rates are worse.

In Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), the death rate is 306 women per 100,000 live births. Neonatal mortality in NTT is also incredibly high, at 3100 deaths per 100,000 live births. 


Australia is supporting Indonesia’s effort to improve maternal and neonatal health services through the Australia Indonesia Partnership Maternal and Neonatal Health (AIPMNH) program, in order to reduce deaths due to pregnancy complications or poor post-natal care.

This assistance contributes to Indonesia’s aim of achieving the Millennium Development Goals of reduced child mortality and increased maternal health by 2015, working in targeted provinces and districts within Kupung.  

Working in partnership ensures sustainability. AIPMNH works with NTT’s provincial and district agencies to improve service delivery and community involvement, improve accountability and performance, and strengthen the health system as a whole.

Importantly, AIPMNH also works with these government partners to raise awareness and encourage behaviours that can help save the lives of mothers and babies in NTT, as changing behaviour is a long-term objective of the program.  


The project has:

  • established behaviour change communication teams involving 133 people from local government, leaders and non-government organisations across districts. The teams conduct research into the barriers facing women attending Puskesmas, the community health clinic, to give birth
  • increased communication with rural and urban populations in NTT, where classic health promotion approaches are not enough. Innovative communications approaches include radio shows, community drama, mobile phone campaigns, along with reach non-traditional influencers, such as birth attendants, husbands, in-laws and others in the health system and the community
  • improved delivery of basic maternity and neonatal care at the community level, with more than 5000 health workers and volunteers trained to support childbirth activities. This is approximately half of the health workers and volunteers in the NTT province
  • 24 public birthing wards have been renovated in East Nusa Tenggara, which has contributed to twice the number of births taking place at the clinics where data has been collected, saving the lives of many women and babies