Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-agency Group (MMEIG)
Maternal Estimation Inter-agency Group
 Lead Advisor: Prof. John Wilmoth
Technical Advisory Group
 TAG Chair: Prof. Thomas Pullum
 Trends in maternal mortality: 1990-  2010
 WHO Bulletin

MMEIG - Who are we?


WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Population Division and The World Bank have joined efforts to create the Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-agency Group (MMEIG) along with a group of collaborating consultants including world-renowned academicians. The group is also advised by an independent Technical Advisory Group. Together, we have collective expertise in maternal health, epidemiology, statistics, demography, and data collection. We are dedicated to producing the most reliable estimates possible in the most transparent and well-documented way. In addition to providing a better sense of the global maternal mortality burden, we aim to assist countries in improving measurement of maternal mortality and strengthening data use.


This interagency group began working together in the mid-1990s towards providing a more accurate sense of the maternal mortality burden through comparable global, regional and country estimates. The interagency group has produced peer-reviewed sets of maternal mortality for 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, and most recently for 2010. Each set of estimates has progressively built on the previous methodology.


The work on Trends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2010 was conducted in collaboration with Prof. John Wilmoth of the University of California at Berkeley.


Meet the MMEIG and Professor Wilmoth , here.


Technical Advisory Group (TAG)


This work benefits from unbiased expert advice of an external Technical Advisory Group (TAG). The TAG is chaired by Prof. Thomas Pullum, currently at ICF Macro, and made up of individuals with statistical and epidemiologic backgrounds at country, regional, and global levels.


Meet the TAG and Professor Pullum here.


An overview of our approach


The process began with the compilation and review of all available nationally representative maternal mortality from the 181 countries included in the study. For those countries with relatively complete civil registration data, those data were used directly for estimating the MMR after adjusting for misclassification of deaths. For all other countries, a multilevel regression model was developed using all available national-level maternal mortality data. For complete methodological details please review ‘Trends in maternal mortality: 1990-2010’ and ‘Levels and trends of maternal mortality in the world: the development of new estimates by the United Nations.


As part of the process, a country consultation was conducted in January 2012 before publishing the estimates. This allowed countries to review the interagency results and provide feedback. In several cases, countries provided newly released national level data that were used to finalize the study.


Because we believe that replicability is an important scientific principle, all underlying data, programming code, and methodological information are publically available on WHO’s sexual and reproductive health website.