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Reclaiming public health through community-based monitoring: The case of Maharashtra, India


Community-based monitoring and planning (CBMP) of health services in Maharashtra state, India represents an innovative participatory approach to improving accountability and healthcare delivery. This paper discusses the successes and challenges of this process and asks whether it could inform ‘communitization’ of health services in diverse contexts, as an alternative to privatization and as a means to enhancing the ‘publicness’ of health services.

CBMP in Maharashtra is organized at multiple levels, with health officials, elected village representatives, civil society organizations and active community members forming multi-stakeholder monitoring and planning committees at each level. Implementation includes awareness raising and preparatory activities, capacity-building and training of participants, community-based assessment of health services, organization of public hearings and state level dialogue events.

Supported by diverse stories of change, the paper shows how CBMP has increased accountability, created various forums and spaces for dialogue, and led to systematic data collection on health indicators that point to improved accessibility and quality of services at village as well as primary health centre levels. 

Abhay Shukla, Shelley Saha Sinha and SATHI
Publication Information: 
Occasional Paper No. 27
Publication Date: 
Publication Type: 
Occasional Paper