By Ravi Subbiah, Senior Director PSI India
In a win for women, girls, and marginalized populations, USAID has awarded $14 million to the Samagra Urban Health Project!
Led by PSI India, Project Samagra will operate in partnership with the Government of India, USAID, and local and private sector stakeholders to create an affordable, equitable and responsive urban health ecosystem for vulnerable and poor urban populations. This grant was awarded in late April 2020 and makes it possible for PSI and partners to deliver quality preventive, promotive, and curative primary healthcare for those underserved populations who need it most.
The Samagra project will work to improve access to inexpensive health services and tackle the barriers related to the social determinants of health. More specifically, the project aims to increase the use of modern contraceptives, case detection for tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). It also aims to improve maternal and child health care coverage to include antenatal care (ANC), intra-natal, and postnatal care (PNC) in these populations, along with improving immunization rates.
Project Samagra will be guided by set principles to promote gender and social inclusion, scale and sustainability, cost-efficiency, and context-specific approaches while upholding stakeholder empowerment, as well as community and organizational partnerships. With the social determinants of health as a lens, there will be three strategic approaches:
- Technical Assistance at the national, state, and city levels to urban primary care touch points;
- Sub-Grant Management to rapidly support implementation of proven concepts and to scale up on lessons learned from previous programs; and
- Management of a Grand Challenge Fund to test experimental concepts and models to combine new ideas and incubate promising concepts in order to generate innovative solutions
These strategic approaches focus on two cross-cutting themes:
- Harnessing the “Private Sector and Active Community Engagement” approach through partnerships and collaboration to enable the Samagra program to deploy more effective, sustainable solutions
- “Collaborative Learning and Adaptive (CLA) Management Approach,” using rigorous implementation science to test models for health outcomes and cost efficiency, sharing lessons learned widely through communities of practice
This award makes possible the strengthening of health systems throughout India; we look forward to distributing these resources in support of our archetypal consumer Sara, so that she can meet her health needs and afford health solutions to better address the challenges she faces!