USAID Adopts M4M’s Innovative PCMC Scale for Improved Maternal Health Care

September 2023

Press release: September 2023

M4M is excited to announce a significant advancement in measuring maternal care quality. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has integrated the 13-question person-centered maternity care (PCMC) scale into the Demographic and Health Surveys Program Service Provision Assessment (SPA). Developed collaboratively by M4M, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the PCMC scale offers invaluable insights into aspects of care such as dignity, respect, communication, autonomy, and emotional support. USAID’s use of the scale underscores the growing recognition of the importance of measuring PCMC and marks a pivotal stride towards standardizing the measure. 

Maternal mortality rates around the world remain high. While clinical proficiency is essential, quality care extends beyond it to encompass respect and dignity. PCMC has been documented as a key factor in reducing maternal mortality, minimizing newborn complications, and encouraging facility-based deliveries. Tested and validated in Ghana, Kenya, and India, the PCMC scale aids in understanding a woman’s care experience and informs efforts to improve maternal health services and, ultimately, reduce maternal mortality. 

The SPA collects information on service availability and quality of care in health facilities. By including the PCMC scale in the SPA surveys, more government, private, and nongovernmental stakeholders will have access to an evidence-based and standardized performance measure, as well as a benchmark for researchers and other seeking validated survey questions, to improve life-saving maternal health services. 

“By embracing the PCMC scale, USAID exemplifies its commitment to elevating maternal health services worldwide,” says Dominic Montagu, CEO and Founder of M4M. 

Patience Afulani, PhD, Assistant Professor at UCSF notes, “We are proud that our collaborative work to create a simplified, but rigorous, measure of person-centered maternity care has been included in the SPA surveys, as it will contribute to better tracking of women’s experiences across the globe.” 

To learn more about the PCMC scale, including how to integrate it into program evaluation, contact