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Promoting Effective and Respectful Communication with Ethnic Minority Pregnant People

Project Summary - January 2023





This project is commissioned by the NHS Race and Health Observatory, an independent expert body established by the NHS to examine the health inequalities experienced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in England and beyond.

To deliver this project, LSE Consulting is working together with experts from the LSE Department of Health Policy and the Institute of Applied Health Research at the University of Birmingham.


This project is a rapid evidence review that will form the basis for new guidance for health providers and service users. It is set out to answer the question:

"What initiatives have aimed to promote respectful communication
with ethnic minority pregnant people?"

We want to ensure that our recommendations for programme design and implementation offer tools for advocacy and are informed by approaches from successful programmes and interventions. 

To achieve this, the project team will organise several engagement activities with maternity health practitioners and lived experience groups to drive the creation of a community of practice and integrate their insights and existing knowledge into our findings and outputs. 


Upcoming activities

Please sign up to be notified of upcoming events by filling in this form.

Past activities

Online launch event - 28 September 2022

Date: 28 September 2022
15:30 - 17:00 BST
Location: virtual

At the event, we gathered views on the aim and scope of the project and promoted collaborative working informed by our Community of Practice and Lived Experience Group. We shared the the main takeways from the event in our first project newsletter.

Please contact maternalcommunicationsproject@gmail.com to receive the newsletter.

Second Meeting: Community of Practice and Lived Experience Group

Date: 20 February 2023
Time: 16:00 - 18:00 hrs GMT
Location: Zoom meeting

At the event, we shared our finalised search strategy, the studies identified after the screening process and the interventions found during the first round of data extraction. We also presented our preliminary categories of interventions: additional persons for support, additional groups for support, translation aids, technology devices or apps, education and information initiatives and organisational and provider-level interventions. Both groups discussed the implications of using these categories, how we could better define them and whether there were any gaps in our data extraction strategy for the following data extraction rounds. Some participants also shared new publications and relevant contacts to widen the reach of our project.

Please contact maternalcommunicationsproject@gmail.com to receive the newsletter and download the event slides here.


How do I get involved?

We welcome practitioners (policy makers, health professionals and researchers) to sign up to our Community of Practice.

If you wish to join please contact maternalcommunicationsproject@gmail.com and provide a short overview of your background.

Project Team

Dr Lucy Kanya | Project Lead



Dr Kanya has over 16 years of experience in social science research derived from training, consultancies, leadership and volunteering endeavours. She has contributed to the design, implementation and evaluation of integrated intervention programmes in the fields of Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) and HIV, Maternal and New-born Child Health (MNCH), Education, and Gender-based violence. In addition, Dr Kanya has been involved in research on respectful maternity care, which culminated in the development of multi-pronged interventions to tackle the abuse and disrespect of women during childbirth.

She has a public health background with training and experience in Health Economics and Policy and has conducted economic evaluations in the broad fields of SRH and health financing in developing countries. Moreover, Dr Kanya has experience in knowledge brokering and engaging with policymakers for research uptake. She is currently part of the African Health Observatory Platform (AHOP) on health systems and policies, where she leads in the production of country monitoring reports and other knowledge brokering activities. 


Dr Laura Kudrna | Co-Lead



Dr Kudrna is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Applied Health Research at the University of Birmingham and has recently been supporting the Midlands Innovation Commission on Health Inequalities. Her work centres applying psychological and behavioural principles to understand and improve health and wellbeing for individuals and communities, and she has a particular interest in income and inequalities.

She recently completed a project on developing international consensus guidelines on informed choice in screening with Public Health England (now the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities) and another with the What Works Centre for Wellbeing on the relationships between individual and community wellbeing. She is currently leading a grant from the National Institute for Health Research that aims to prevent problems with health and wellbeing problems using workplace initiatives delivered through local government. Her recent publications include topics on vaccine hesitancy, patient communications about hospital appointments, and documentary analyses of hospital board meeting papers.


Dr Lailah Alidu | Researcher



Dr Alidu currently supports research on workplace health and wellbeing inequalities in the West Midlands. She recently completed a study on ethnicity and COVID-19, which aimed to understand and reduce health inequalities and COVID-19 risk by developing a range of culturally appropriate health interventions for Black and South Asian communities. In addition, her PhD investigated the experience of migrant health in the UK and Ghana.  


Caroline Bazambanza | Researcher



Caroline Bazambanza is a PhD Candidate in the LSE Department of Anthropology. Caroline’s research explores the care networks involved in pregnancy, labour and motherhood for black women in London at the intersection of race, welfare and reproduction. Caroline’s research considers the impact of embodied knowledges and alternative forms of care, including the work of doulas and lay birth or care practitioners. Taking an ethnographic approach using participant observation, her work positions black women’s narratives and experiences as pivotal to an understanding of existing health disparities.

Caroline was a research assistant as part of the LSE Covid and Care group, contributing to understanding the impact of pandemic policy on black mothers and birthing people’s experiences. In addition, Caroline has conducted research on mental health therapies in Central London and the relationship between international NGOs and local partners in Rwanda. She has worked with numerous NGOs, including Penal Reform International (PRI), CARE International and Plan International. 


Professor Richard Lilford | Senior Advisor



Professor Richard Lilford has pursued a successful career in medicine for over 40 years, specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology and, more recently, health service research. He has research methodological expertise in the evaluation of complex interventions and prospective health economic evaluations of service delivery interventions. He has designed a framework for the evaluation of complex interventions that draws a crucial distinction between targeted and generic service interventions and is also interested in Bayesian statistics, medical ethics, clinical trials, step-wedge cluster trials, and multiple-indication reviews.

Richard is also Director of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration West Midlands (ARC WM) and the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Improving Health in Slums. He has published over 375 original research papers and is an investigator on over £35 million worth of government, industry and charity-sponsored research grants. In 2018 he was awarded a CBE in recognition of his services to health research. 


Francisca Torres | Project Manager



Francisca is a Project Manager and Researcher at LSE Consulting, where she contributes to research design, business development, and project management across a wide range of policy and socioeconomic topics. She is responsible for writing and coordinating project proposals, reviewing and analysing qualitative and quantitative data during projects for various public and private sector clients, academics, experts and partner organisations.

At LSE Consulting, she has collaborated with interdisciplinary teams conducting data analysis, writing and reporting findings to different audiences for projects in the UK and Europe. She recently co-authored a report for the British Council on anti-racism and decolonisation, where she conducted qualitative fieldwork and analysed interviews and documents. Francisca also works independently as a mixed-methods researcher on access to higher education, the impact of policy on students' decision-making after post-secondary education, and equality in education in general. Broader areas of interest are gender inequalities, anti-racism and decolonisation. 



Banner image
Credit: Shutterstock
Copyright: Copyright (c) 2020 Angelina Bambina/Shutterstock.

Project Team: Lucy Kanya, Laura Kudrna, Lailah Alidu, Caroline Bazambanza, Richard Lilford and Francisca Torres