Negotiating Rights : Building Coalitions for Improving Maternal Health Services

While India is rapidly gaining popularity as a destination for world-class health care, the state of maternal health in the country reflects poorly on public health priorities. Uttar Pradesh has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the country, an estimated 30-40 000 per year. A number of international agencies and civil society organizations are engaged in advocacy around this issue. But despite some successes, the question remains how such alliances can play an optimal role in building a more responsive maternal health services system.

This action-research project will establish a coalition to build consensus on the importance of maternal health among the diverse actors in the pluralistic health system. The coalition will endeavor to create a notion that all preventable maternal deaths are unacceptable, encourage policymakers to put more emphasis on maternal health services, and improve the quality and responsiveness of maternal health service provision in Uttar Pradesh. The project is innovative in that it shifts away from attempting yet another technical solution to the problem, or viewing it simply as a question of service delivery and human resources. The approach addresses the lack of motivation that may be preventing technical solutions from being implemented. The project will be carried out by SAHAYOG - a nonprofit voluntary organization that promotes gender equality and women's health from a human rights framework - with technical input from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, United Kingdom.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

End Date

Thursday, January 5, 2012


24 months

IDRC Officer

Mhatre, Sharmila

Total funding

CA$ 243,300


India, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia, United Kingdom


Maternal and Child Health

Project Leader

Jashodhara Dasgupta



Institution Country


Institution Website