Guiding Principles

The Preterm Birth Initiative is guided by a set of core principles that we believe are critical to generating substantial breakthroughs that will reduce the burden of prematurity:

Transdisciplinarity

By bringing together diverse perspectives to address the problem of preterm birth, researchers, clinicians, and members of the communities affected by preterm birth can create novel and highly effective approaches and solutions.

We will break down silos by bringing together diverse perspectives of researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and community experts from within and outside the health sector to understand barriers to progress, and in the process, advance highly effective interventions.

Place-based approach

Research must consider a broad array of biological and social determinants in the context of specific communities and neighborhoods.

Recognizing the importance of starting with people and the places where they live, our research must consider a broad array of biological and social determinants in context — research that’s conducted in specific communities and neighborhoods.

Interventions across the reproductive life course

By working across the reproductive life course — from preconception through post-natal care — we can achieve better outcomes for mothers, babies, and their families.

Addressing the problem of prematurity by focusing efforts solely on the pregnancy itself will be insufficient. By working across the reproductive life course — from preconception through postnatal care — we can address major bottlenecks that prevent existing, proven-effective interventions from getting to those mothers, babies, and families who would benefit from them the most.

Stakeholder ownership

The best and most sustainable programs engage stakeholders from the beginning, and we pledge to work in partnership with preterm birth stakeholders in all the research we do.

The best and most sustainable programs have extensive stakeholder support, and we pledge to put these stakeholders at the center of our research so they can help us ask the right questions to find the right answers.

Knowledge transfer and exchange 

While the burden of prematurity may vary across locations, knowledge about what works in one area needs to be shared broadly to amplify the impact of successful innovation and implementation.

New minds and new ideas

Reducing the burden of prematurity will require developing new talent and building sustainable research and implementation capacity.