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This case study is taking place in Koppal District of Karnataka State in south India. In order to develop interventions to improve gender and health equity outcomes the project is building a partnership among three sets of stakeholders:

  • the government of Karnataka (through its Department of Health and Family Welfare)
  • Mahila Samakhya (a semi-autonomous women's empowerment programme)
  • a research team from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

The partnership is intended to foster enabling environments to:

  • improve community health awareness and practice
  • expand health care access with a focus on improving equity and quality of care
  • strengthen the accountability of public health providers to community health needs.

The tripartite nature of the partnership: combining the NGO-like dynamism and flexibility of a community-based women's empowerment programme, the scaling-up potential and power of key government departments, and high quality research from a respected academic institution.

The development of accountability systems that combine pressure from both below (women in the community) and above (key government officials and departments) leading to improvements in health service access and equity.

An existing and respected women's empowerment programme (MS) has been working in the project area. Ten years of their experience, learning, and networks are being brought to bear on the project.

Research on the equity implications of household heath seeking behaviour and community based accountability systems. This is generating empirical evidence on how structural reforms and health system changes are affecting gender and health equity issues in India.

Leading Team Members
Prof Gita Sen, Professor of Economics and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India
Amrutha, Health Coordinator, Mahila Samakhya Karnataka, India

Asha George, Indian Institute for Management, Bangalore, India and Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK
Aditi Iyer, Indian Institute for Management, Bangalore, India and University of Liverpool, UK

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