Maternova's Resource Center for the WHO Modified Partograph

Partograph Central 2015-16

This page is our effort to offer the partograph in as many languages as possible. Of all the inquiries we get, the partograph or partogram is the most popular. The partograph is approved by the World Health Organization and exists in a modified and a simplified version. We do not take a position on promoting its use but offfer it to those who find it helpful.

The Partograph

The partograph is a protocol or tool used to track the progress of labor. The WHO modified version of partograph is a simple single page monitoring tool for the first stage of labor by tracking multiple aspects of labor over time including fetal heart rate, cervical dilation, contractions, drugs and medicine given, pulse, blood pressure and urine tests. The tool allows the trained birth attendant to monitor the progress of labor, the mother and the fetus, hour by hour and to have a clear means of tracking whether labor is obstructed--with 'alert' and 'action' lines signaling when a labor has become complicated. The tool was modified by the WHO and reintroduced in a simpler form.

WHO Modified Partograph

As pointed out by many, though the tool is simple in that it is a piece of paper, the concepts and number of indicators tracked are complex, and using the partograph takes some training. In the first study outside of Africa on actual fidelity of use, only 6% of health workers were using the tool (


There are many versions of the partograph. The WHO modified partograph was further changed to the simplified partograh which removes the latent phase of labor. In some trials the simplified version was found to be easier to use.


Maternova has worked with translators and maternal health professionals to translate the WHO modified partograph into a number of languages. The PDFs below include the WHO modified partograph and a detailed explanation in English and the language indicated.

WHO Modified Partograph
WHO Modified Partograph- French
WHO Modified Partograph- Spanish


The partograph or partogram was designed for use by trained midwives, nurses and obstetricians. Though the World Health Organization approved the WHO Modified Partograph, these translations were done by Maternova and external consultants and are not approved by the WHO.

We strongly recommend that you first test the partograph using non-patient test case scenarios before using with actual patients.

Educational Resources

We will also curate a library of evidence based literature about the partograph, and a library of educational materials.

An e-learning tool is presented on the incredible GLOWM site:

Another mobile phone based training tool is here with some of our favorite folks, HealthPhone:

Engenderhealth has done a great deal of work on increasing the training and use of the partograph:

Maternal & Neonatal Health, USAID: The Partograph: An Essential Tool for Decision-Making During Labor

Read about Dr. Debdas's paperless partograph on Maternova's Innovation Index.

Evidence-Based Literature

A 2015 article stressing how important the tool is in resource limited settings (Ghana)

This article compares the WHO modified and the WHO simplified partographs:

The WHO partograph is reviewed in this Lancet article:

This article was published in 2009 in Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology:

This article is on a concept called the physiologic partograph

Ghanaian 12 hour approach developed by O'Driscroll:

If you have translated the partograph and would like to contribute it to the library please do let us know.