India Local Initiatives Program: A Model for Expanding Reproductive and Child Health Services
By John M. Paxman, Abu Sayeed, Ann Buxbaum, Sallie Craig Huber, and Charles Stover
The India Local Initiatives Program adapted a model used in Indonesia and Bangladesh to implement the government’s reproductive and child health strategy. From 1999 to 2003, three Indian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) provided services for 784,000 people in four northern states. The program established health committees in 620 villages, recruited and trained 1,850 community health volunteers, and added 232 sites to extend government services. Using three strategies—demand creation, increased access to services, and local capacity building—the NGOs increased contraceptive-use rates by 78 percent, on average; child immunizations by 67 percent; and antenatal care by 78 percent among the populations served. Community resources—such as local health personnel, community-supplied clinic sites, and community drug funds—added 40 cents to every dollar provided by donors. This model proved to be a suitable platform upon which to build health-care service delivery and create behavioral change, and the NGOs quickly found ways to sustain and expand services.