Catalyzing partnerships for women’s and children’s health

The Indian Government expands engagement with public and private partners


India has demonstrated a strong commitment towards women’s and children’s health by accelerating mortality reduction. It launched a national plan to address these challenges with a pledge of US$3.5bn, representing 57% of total health expenditure. 184 high-priority districts were identified across all 29 states to implement the strategy. India launched a national plan to deliver the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health Strategy (RMNCH+A) at scale. Yet, with multiple stakeholders and projects existing in India there is an enormous challenge to better coordinate and align the government’s initiatives with businesses, non-profits and international agencies, especially at the local level. Over 90 000 businesses and over 32 000 non-profits are active within the health sector in India, however huge challenges still impede progress. Key international development partners, who contribute approximately 1% of funds, require almost 40% of government involvement at the national level.

How can GD provide guidance and design strategic options for India’s national plan to effectively engage cross-sector partnerships and deliver the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health Strategy (RMNCH+A) at scale?

There is no doubt that the private sector can play a supplemental role for critical gap filling in India. The question is how.
Anuradha Gupta, Additional Secretary, Mission Director, National Health Mission


GD partnered with Accenture and its Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP) and led the development of an in-depth situational analysis of the existing health system and its key stakeholders. We focused on one of India’s heavily populated and fast growing states, Uttar Pradesh with 200 million inhabitants – and specifically on two of its poorest districts, Kaushambi and Kanshiram Nagar, where maternal and child mortality was more than double India’s average.

We convened meetings and facilitated dialogues with key stakeholders at national, state and district levels. We developed scenarios for multi-sector collaborations, working together with the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Partnerships for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Accenture.

We formulated a deep understanding of the different stakeholders’ interests, capabilities, constraints, funding and interactions and identified possible coordination mechanisms. Our practical recommendations focused on collaborative mechanisms to converge public and private objectives with local governments while maintaining critical local ownership to deliver essential health interventions.


  • Designed a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind 5-step guide to develop  strategic options for the country’s multi-stakeholder action
  • Identified crucial criteria to prioritize critical challenges and opportunities in the national plan to guide investments, resources and action
  • Developed strategic options for new collaborations in two priority areas: behavior change & communication and knowledge networks, with recommended institutional mechanisms, partners’ roles, and estimated costs and benefits
  • Shared this roadmap as a working model for multi-stakeholder action for other states in India, as well as for other developing countries globally


Additional Resources:

India National Strategy: A Strategic Approach to Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) In India