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Documenting Interventions

Ramila Bisht and Benjamin Hunter

Edited by Jay Satia , Madhavi Misra, Radhika Arora and Sourav Neogi 
Sage Publications, Delhi, 2014, pp. 356, Rs. 595.00


Innovations in Maternal Health: Case Studies from India (2014) edited by a team of researchers from the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) describes a series of interventions which aim to improve maternal health among some of India’s poorest communities. The authors describe an extensive search of literature that they used to identify relevant programmes; those that are ‘doing what is done differently, or creating new, unique ideas and interventions.’ In the book’s foreword, the President of the PHFI, K. Srinath Reddy, states the relevance of documenting and disseminating these contemporary innovations in the areas of maternal and newborn health with the hope that similar health programmes can be ‘undertaken to improve maternal and newborn care in India.’ Of 218 interventions reportedly identified by the authors, 23 were selected for inclusion as case studies in the book. Divided into five sections, these case studies cover themes ranging from Health Systems issues for Maternal and Newborn Care like access, quality, availability and affordability; addressing direct and indirect causes of maternal and newborn infant mortality to dealing with organizational and programmatic issues like monitoring, evaluation, accountability and looking at successful state and organizational features as innovation engines. The following interventions are described in the book: mobile boat clinics in Assam; a three-tiered system of clinics in West Bengal; Reproductive and Child Health, Nutrition and AIDS (RACHNA) project in nine states; Sambhav Vouchers in Uttarakhand; Life Spring Hospitals in Andhra Pradesh; Merrygold Health Network in Uttar Pradesh; Yashoda/Mamta programme in four States; NRHM’s Quality Assurance Programme for health services in six States; a referral transport system in 12 States; Janani Express in Madhya Pradesh; Embrace Infant Warmer in Karnataka; Raksha Project in four States; Promoting Change in Reproductive Behaviour in Bihar (PRACHAR) project; Community-led Initiatives for Child Survival (CLICS) project in Maharashtra; Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP) in Maharashtra; a series of clinics providing health services for adolescents in Delhi and West Bengal; Ekjut trial in Jharkhand and Orissa; Maternal and Perinatal Death Enquiry and Response (MAPEDIR) and Maternal Death Reviews (MDR) in eight States; The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood in four States; Tamil Nadu’s health system; health centres and outreach programmes in Rajasthan. Each chapter provides details on the background, design and implementation of a case study, the majority of which are public-private partnerships. Perhaps the book’s greatest strength is that it represents one of the most comprehensive ...

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