Objectives The AMANHI morbidity study aims to quantify and describe severe maternal morbidities and assess their associations with adverse maternal, fetal and newborn outcomes in predominantly rural areas of nine sites in eight South Asian and sub-Saharan African countries. Methods AMANHI takes advantage of on-going population-based cohort studies covering approximately 2 million women of reproductive age with 1- to 3-monthly pregnancy surveillance to enrol pregnant women. Morbidity information is collected at five follow-up home visits - three during the antenatal period at 24-28 weeks, 32-36 weeks and 37+ weeks of pregnancy and two during the postpartum period at 1-6 days and after 42-60 days after birth. Structured- questionnaires are used to collect self-reported maternal morbidities including hemorrhage, hypertensive disorders, infections, difficulty in labor and obstetric fistula, as well as care-seeking for these morbidities and outcomes for mothers and babies. Additionally, structured questionnaires are used to interview birth attendants who attended women's deliveries. All protocols were harmonised across the sites including training, implementation and operationalising definitions for maternal morbidities. Importance of the AMANHI morbidity study Availability of reliable data to synthesize evidence for policy direction, interventions and programmes, remains a crucial step for prioritization and ensuring equitable delivery of maternal health interventions especially in high burden areas. AMANHI is one of the first large harmonized population- based cohort studies being conducted in several rural centres in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and is expected to make substantial contributions to global knowledge on maternal morbidity burden and its implications.