© 2015. In response to the global effort to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, a partnership was created between the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to establish the Global Network for Women's and Children's Health Research (Global Network) in 2000. The Global Network was developed with a goal of building local maternal and child health research capacity in resource-poor settings. The objective of the network was to conduct research focused on several high-need areas, such as preventing life-threatening obstetric complications, improving birth weight and infant growth, and improving childbirth practices in order to reduce mortality. Scientists from developing countries, together with peers in the USA, lead research teams that identify and address population needs through randomized clinical trials and other research studies. Global Network projects develop and test cost-effective, sustainable interventions for pregnant women and newborns and provide guidance for national policy and for the practice of evidence-based medicine. This article reviews the results of the Global Network's research, the impact on policy and practice, and highlights the capacity-building efforts and collaborations developed since its inception.