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Every minute, at least one woman dies from pregnancy and childbirth complications; a further 20 suffer injury, infection or disease. Despite medical advances, and years of policy declarations, this tragic situation remains particularly severe in developing countries, violating a fundamental human right. Is a new approach possible, one that looks beyond common project paradigms and standards? What could such an approach look like, how might it operate, and what might be its effect? The Women’s Health Initiative, an innovative public private partnership that drew reference from the UN Global Compact, provides a possible model.