The collaboration began with an initial grant in 2004 awarded to Dr Anita Gagnon and Dr Rhonda Small from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research International Opportunity Development Grant Scheme to establish research links between Canada and Australia for comparing reproductive health outcomes of immigrant and refugee women.
The first meeting of a wider collaborative network – with researchers from the UK, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, and Finland – was held at the European Congress of Epidemiology in Porto, Portugal in September 2004. Then in August 2005, a workshop hosted by the European Perinatal Epidemiology Network on Migration and Perinatal Health in Siena, Italy saw the establishment of the ROAM Collaboration, with researchers also joining from Norway, Italy and the Netherlands. The first two collaborative projects were planned at this meeting:
the development of a set of migration indicators for use in perinatal data collection and comparative research, and
a comparative study of perinatal outcomes for Somali women giving birth in different receiving countries.