Health and Social Justice Research Award
May to October 2016
Madhya Pradesh is one of the largest states in India, which ranks fourth in maternal mortality. Its MMR at 230 is significantly higher than that for India at 178 (SRS 2013). Although the coverage of institutional deliveries and antenatal care has increased over the past decade, quality of care remains questionable. Despite programs such as the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSSK) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), women continue to bear high out of pocket expenses and have poor access to emergency obstetric care.
For the past 5 years, Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ) has been working with partners in Madhya Pradesh, to raise some of these issues around maternal health rights through a platform known as the Maternal Health Rights Campaign (MHRC). The MHRC is a network of more than 40 grassroots organizations from 14 districts of the state, who collectively generate evidence, highlight rights violations and advocate for improvement in services at the district, state and national levels. CHSJ is anchoring the campaign currently at its secretariat, located in Bhopal.
As part of its efforts, CHSJ envisaged building capacity of organizations within the MHRC to generate evidence through conducting small studies and documenting case stories of violations related to maternal and reproductive health rights. This was done through launching a short research award for maternal health in the state from May 2016 to November 2016. A total of six awardees were selected after assessing applications, conducting an interview and an assessment of the writing skills. These awardees were from Sehore, Bhopal, Chhindwara, Sigrauli and Anuppur districts respectively.
The different processes of the research award were as follows:
1) Capacity building on research methodology, data analysis and writing: Two rounds of capacity building were conducted in May and August. The first phase of capacity building included Orientation of the awardees on Maternal and Reproductive Health Rights issues and Basics of research methodology. During this training, awardees along with their mentors developed their research questions and tools. After this the awardees collected their data and a second round of capacity building on analysis and writing was conducted in a workshop mode.
2) Mentorship to design and implement the research project with periodic feedback from researchers at CHSJ was provided throughout the research award program.
3) The MHRC provided a platform to disseminate the evidence generated by the awardees at its State Seminar in October 2016. Some of the evidence presented at the seminar was also covered by the press.