Women and infants in India continue to die in child birth because of poor health care facilities. Widespread corruption in the public health sector undermines accountability and efficiency at all levels. Citizen engagement can encourage better results by: (a) building a greater sense of community ownership for the quality of services and (b) improving accountability of duty bearers.

A grant agreement was signed in March 2019 between the IDRF, PTF and YSD. This project is focused on Improving Maternal and Child Health Care Services (MCH) through citizen engagement in Odisha State, India. The objectives of the initiative are to:

  • enable citizen engagement with authorities to demand quality MCH services;
  • develop a community score card to evaluate MCH services; and
  • collaborate with researchers on documenting and analyzing improvements in MCH outcomes through citizen engagement.

These objectives will be accomplished through the following activities:

  • Public awareness raising and capacity building of citizens, health committees, and service providers on rights and entitlements, service provisions and standards, monitoring tools and grievance readdress mechanisms.
  • Interface meetings to establish a common platform of various stakeholders and beneficiaries/citizen at the Gram Panchayat and block level
  • Assessment of MCH Services through the use of ‘community score cards’
  • Public dissemination of findings and engagements with government and duty bearers to improve services

The first phase of the program will last two two-years and focus on putting in place the basic approach that can then be scaled up through vertical and horizontal expansion.