IDEAS uses multidisciplinary research methods to provide a rich source of data for funders, governments and non-governmental organisations working in maternal and newborn health in India.

Working with our measurement, learning and evaluation partners and using multidisciplinary research methods, our findings on what works, why and how aims to close the gap in implementation research on how to get life-saving interventions to families at scale.

In India, our research focusses on:

Tracking progress

Together with the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, IDEAS produces a biannual maternal and newborn health dashboard. This dashboard will highlight progress against targets for coverage of a core set of 15 evidence-based interventions along the continuum of care by 2020 in the Indian States of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Supporting local decision-making

In the state of West Bengal, India, IDEAS will build upon the experiences and lessons of the prototype phase of the Data-Informed Platform for Health (DIPH). The DIPH aims to strengthen health systems by supporting the use of local data for decision-making, priority-setting and planning at the district health administration level. The DIPH brings together key district-level data on inputs and processes and so facilitates the appraisal of maternal and newborn health services and programmes.

This prototype phase was implemented in two districts of the state – North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas – but now it will be adapted for implementation across the entire state of West Bengal with a population of over 90 million people. Through to 2020, we plan capacity-building workshops at six-monthly intervals at the division level for DIPH district implementers and stakeholders. Guidance and technical support will also be provided by IDEAS upon request to DIPH district implementers.

Fostering innovation sustainability

IDEAS carries out qualitative studies to assess what happens in the long term to donor-funded maternal and newborn health innovations that are scaled-up – and how the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other donors can take steps to foster sustainability.

This work will generate important new knowledge on sustaining health programmes in low-income settings, building on previous IDEAS studies of scale-up and the work of other academics supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It responds to the foundation’s commitment to seeing health investments scaled-up in terms of both geography and longer-term legacies.

Published content

Journal article
Adding Content to Contacts: Measurement of High Quality Contacts for Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia, North East Nigeria, and Uttar Pradesh, India

Families in high mortality settings need regular contact with high quality health services. This paper presents a method for estimating the population level coverage of high quality contacts.

Bringing together district-level data for better maternal and newborn health decisions in West Bengal, India

The DIPH will enable district health stakeholders – local government departments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private health...

Dissemination activity and impact of maternal and newborn health projects in Ethiopia, India and Nigeria

Report on the dissemination activity and impact of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation implementation projects.

Implementation pathway report: Community Resource Person An intervention by the Technical Support Unit Uttar Pradesh, India, February 2015

Community Resource Persons are local graduate women which support and coordinate frontline workers activities, such as record keeping and home visits, and strengthen Village Health, Sanitation and Nutrition Committees for improved community monitoring of health services and schemes, in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Data Informed Platform for Health Feasibility Study Report, Uttar Pradesh, India

Report from a feasibility study for a Data Informed Platform for Health in Uttar Pradesh State, India

Journal article
‘Scaling-up is a craft not a science’: Catalysing scale-up of health innovations in Ethiopia, India and Nigeria

A study of the scale-up of health innovations in Ethiopia, Nigeria and India, showing that multiple steps are required, including: planning; advocacy; using evidence; involving government; partnership, together with time, money and coordination, and the commitment of implementers, donors and government.

Research brief
A content analysis of district level health data in Uttar Pradesh, India

A content analysis of the different types of public health data maintained by the Health Department, the Department of Women and Child Development, and the private for profit and not for profit health sectors and the links that exist between them in terms of data sharing.

Maternal and newborn health care. Baseline findings from Uttar Pradesh, India

Baseline study report on the interactions between families and frontline workers (their frequency, quality, and equity), and coverage of interventions for mothers and newborns in Uttar Pradesh State, India

Engaging the public & private sectors in data sharing to improve maternal and newborn health in Uttar Pradesh, India

The private for-profit health sector in India delivers around 80% of outpatient treatment and 60% of hospitalisations, and includes more than three quarters of human resources for health. Limited information is shared with public health information systems.