Building Public Sector-NGO Partnerships for Urban Rch Services

Agarwal S. Building public sector- NGO partnerships for urban RCH services. Indian J Community Medicine, 2004; 29: 155-60.

15 Pages Posted: 21 May 2016

See all articles by Siddharth Agarwal

Siddharth Agarwal

Urban Health Resource Centre; Dept. of International Health, JHBSPH

Date Written: February 1, 2004


The quest for better livelihood opportunities has led to large-scale migration and the mushrooming of slums in several Indian cities. Unfortunately, a significant section of the urban poor do not have access to many of the benefits of urban development.

It emerges from the re-analysis of Madhya Pradesh NFHS 2 data that neonatal mortality is significantly high among the urban poor (Urban low Standard of Living Index population at 69.7 as compared to the urban aggregate of 44. Likewise, infant mortality rate among the urban poor is 99.4 as against the urban aggregate of 61.9. Much of the challenge of delivering services to the marginalized groups lies in identifying them and effectively approaching them, so that limited resources are utilized well and programs address real needs.

There is a presence of the public sector as well as NGOs in urban areas. The health infrastructure in public sector for the urban poor is inadequate. In Madhya Pradesh, the public sector share of total health expenditure is about 22%. This is about the lowest in the world. The lowest figure for any developed nation is for the U.S. But even that is 44% - double the Madhva Pradesh figure. The growing requirement for health services for the urban poor, owing to rapid urban population growth, necessitates thinking about the collaborative approach of the public and Non-profit sector for health services in urban areas.

There are examples of NGOs partnering with the Public sector for expanding reach of health services to the urban poor. In Guwahati, with support from the European Commission, Primary Health Care for Urban Poor are delivered through Partnership with Charitable Hospital (Marwari Maternity Hospital). In the World bank supported India Population Project VIII (IPP VIII), access and utilization of primary health care through NGO run facilities are being implemented successfully in Bangalore, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi.

Experiences in Ahmedabad, Indore and other cities have demonstrated that NGO's make valuable contributions to Urban RCH programs by i) identification and mapping vulnerable slums , improving access to sanitation and other basic services through coordinating with Municipal Bodies, c) Enhance demand and utilization of services, building capacity of slum communities, health functionaries, d) independently manage primary level RCH facilities, e) Innovate and develop models for replication and scale up as noted in Pune, Mumbai, Indore, f) NGOs can emerge as vial resource centres to develop the field of urban health as a professional area.

Carried out with devotion, purpose and commitment, such partnerships will be able to actualize the aphorism: "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts".

Keywords: NGOs, public sector, urban poor, Reproductive Child Health services, partnerships, India

JEL Classification: I00, I1, I10, I12,I18,I19, I3, I30, I31, L3, L30, L31, L32, L33, L39, N35, P46,R00, R29,

Suggested Citation

Agarwal, Siddharth, Building Public Sector-NGO Partnerships for Urban Rch Services (February 1, 2004). Agarwal S. Building public sector- NGO partnerships for urban RCH services. Indian J Community Medicine, 2004; 29: 155-60., Available at SSRN:

Siddharth Agarwal (Contact Author)

Urban Health Resource Centre ( email )

136, Humayunpur, First Floor
Safdarjung Enclave
New Delhi, Delhi 110029
911126199771 (Phone)


Dept. of International Health, JHBSPH ( email )

Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
United States

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