This year, the awards put a spotlight on collaborations that advance gender equality in Asia

NEW DELHI, June 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Maternal quality improvement and certification initiative from India ‘Manyata’ has won the prestigious Constellation Award by Asia’s leading social investors’ network Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN).The initiative, which is supported by MSD for Mothers, received the award for catalyzing strategic collaborations to advance gender equality in Asia, at AVPN’s Global Conference 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. ‘Manyata’ aims to strengthen the clinical standards for delivering quality maternity care in the private sector and accelerate the progress towards UN SDGs to make India a safer country for childbirth.

Manyata wins the AVPN Constellations Award at Kuala Lumpur

The initiative exemplifies the success of effective collaborations to establish innovative approaches to healthcare. Launched in 2013, Manyata, with technical assistance from The Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) and Jhpiego, has played an instrumental role in streamlining quality standards for women seeking care in private maternity facilities. MSD for Mothers has supported 15+ organizations who bring unique expertise to the initiative including, Swasti – The Health Catalyst, Sattva Consulting, PharmAccess Foundation, Maternity Foundation, Ariadne Labs, and The Weber Shandwick Collective. They have also associated with the Government of Maharashtra and the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH), to ensure a comprehensive approach to establishing a mechanism to assure the quality of maternal care and enhance health systems to better public health outcomes.

Over 2500 private facilities have been ‘Manyata’ certified or are pursuing quality certification in 23 states, ensuring equitable access to high-quality, safe, and respectful care during pregnancy and childbirth to almost 70 million women.

Speaking about the global recognition, Pompy Sridhar, Director, MSD For Mothers, India said, We at MSD for Mothers are honoured to receive the AVPN Constellations Award. Our aim is to work towards solutions aimed at reducing preventable maternal deaths and ensuring that women have access to quality maternal health services across public and private sectors. This necessitates co-opting focus on strategic purchase from the private sector, equipping private health providers to deliver quality care, and strengthening health systems to drive impact. Manyata, our flagship initiative, has been our most significant push towards capacity building of private maternity facilities. This win is a testament to our belief in the power of meaningful collaborations and has strengthened our resolve to keep up the momentum to complement the Government’s efforts to achieve its maternal health goals.”

The Indian government has, time and again, reiterated its commitment to Universal Health Coverage or ‘Health for All’. The government is prioritizing UHC to ensure that every community in every corner of India has access to quality healthcare. Private sector efforts to improve the quality of their services are indispensable in universalizing quality healthcare in India. By providing equitable and quality maternal care in private facilities, the Manyata initiative is addressing challenges that help in bolstering last-mile delivery of maternal health interventions and complements the Indian government’s efforts towards achieving UHC.


The Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) is a network of 600 diverse social investors across 33 markets. Its mission is to close the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) gaps in Asia, by enabling members to increase the flow of financial, human, and intellectual capital towards impact.


Manyata is FOGSI’s flagship initiative to improve the quality of private maternity care for women in low- and middle-income categories in India. This initiative is supported by MSD for Mothers, and MacArthur Foundation. It is a quality improvement (training) and certification program that acts as a stamp of quality ensuring consistent, safe, and respectful care for mothers during and after childbirth. The program promotes the adoption and practice of 16 clinical standards – in line with World Health Organization (WHO) standards for antenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care. In Maharashtra, the program runs as a joint initiative between the Public Health Department, Government of Maharashtra and FOGSI, and is called LaQshya-Manyata with additional 10 Facility standards in line with national standards of care.

The initiative is led by Dr Hema Divakar, National Convener, Manyata; Dr Hrishikesh Pai, Chief Administrator, FOGSI-Manyata Initiative; and Dr Ameya Purandare, Deputy Administrator, FOGSI-NPMU and managed by Dr Samita Bhardwaj, National Program Manager, FOGSI-NPMU.  

MSD for Mothers

MSD for Mothers is MSD’s global initiative to help create a world where no woman dies giving life. They have been working towards the cause of quality maternity care through the Manyata program and other investments since 2013 in India. MSD for Mothers is committed to help making pregnancy and childbirth healthy and safe experiences for all women. They believe better maternal health care is a pathway to a lifetime of good health – vital for a woman’s well-being and prosperity – and so much more. It sets the foundation for women, children, families, communities, and societies to thrive for generations to come. They are constantly collaborating with renowned partners and academicians from India and around the world to find solutions that will help mothers and families for the long term.

The Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI)

FOGSI is a professional organization representing practitioners of obstetrics and gynecology in India. With 262 member societies and over 37,000 individual members spread over the length and breadth of the country, FOGSI is probably one of the largest membership-based organizations of specialized professionals. FOGSI exists to encourage and disseminate knowledge, education, and research in the field of obstetrics and gynecology, to pilot and promote preventive and therapeutic services related to the practice of obstetrics and gynecology for the betterment of the health of women and children in particular, and the wellbeing of the community in general, to advocate the cause of reproductive health and rights and to support and protect the interest of practitioners of obstetrics and gynecology in India.



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