Subject Area="Convergence among Development Partners."
Objective="Coordinated technical assistance to the state government on planning, implementation and monitoring."
Details for Reform Option "Integrated Planning and Management of Health Services, Madhya Pradesh"
Background:Convergence of Development Partners (DPs) has been a matter of active interest, both among partners as well as state governments. In 2001, DPs in Madhya Pradesh came together to make joint communication to the state government with a view to avoid duplication of efforts and to discuss policy matters with the State Government. This resulted in the State Government seeking to develop a Medium-Term Health Strategy.
The strategy document was produced through Technical Assistance (TA) from UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and others. However, the purpose of seeking mandates of DPs on the State-led strategy did not effectively materialise. Subsequently, at the time of developing Reproductive and Child Health (RCH II) Programme Implementation Plan, in 2003-2004, DPs came together to render coordinated TA to the State Government.
This coordinated TA was well reflected in the State Programme Implementation Plan (PIP) for RCH-II. It has also led to a need for more refined convergence and concerted action among DPs following the launch of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in 2005.
DPs, that included DFID, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and European Commission (EC), initiated a series of planned consultations amongst themselves; lately, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has also joined in. Together, they have produced a set of terms of reference (ToRs) for joint planning and support to the State Government and have requested it to issue an Order whereby the roles of DPs are defined in terms of competence, interest and mandate, as well as geographical area. They have initiated joint visits to districts and now act as independent monitors of various programmes, schemes and projects.
There is improved coordination and DPs now have a common platform for policy dialogue with the State. DPs meet once a month and a meeting with government representatives is held once in three months. The Bhopal UNFPA office is secretariat of DP convergence. DPs have worked together in finalising PIP of RCH-II and NRHM. Following field visits, they share experiences, information and technical viewpoint with the state government.
Bhopal, since August 2005.
Effective Planning: Well-defined and previously agreed thematic areas reduce duplication of effort by DPs in the state.
Decision-making: The quality of decisions at state level has improved due to integrated approach.
Coordination: State government has formalised the role of DPs in policy and implementation consultations; this has led to better acceptance of programmes at the State and district levels.
Coordination: Cohesive implementation is still a challenge because DPs have their own programme mandates. Individual mandates and identities dominate, sometimes at the cost of convergence in planning.
Personnel: Some of the DPs do not have state technical assistance in the area of health.
§Continued dialogue among partners and sharing of information in a transparent manner.
§Focus on issues of policy, structures and systems.
§Focus on improved monitoring mechanism.
Who needs to be consulted
State Programme Coordinator, UNFPA
Highly sustainable, as it only requires coordination in communication and joint consultations with the state government.
Chances of Replication
A high degree of will on the part of each partner is crucial to the success of convergence among DPs.
Sara Joseph, Researcher, ECTA, Bangalore & Dr. Nandini Roy, Research Consultant, National Institute of Medical Statistics. May 2006.