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Despite progress in recent years, an estimated 273,500 women died as a result of maternal causes in 2010. The burden of these deaths is disproportionately bourne by women who reside in low income countries or belong to the poorest sectors of the population of middle or high income ones, and it is particularly acute in regions where access to and utilization of facility-based services for childbirth and newborn care is lowest. This series of five papers assesses and summarizes information from relevant systematic reviews on the impact of various approaches to improve the quality of care for women and newborns.