Assistant Professor Manoj Mohanan evaluated a promising health program in Gujarat in western India. The program paid private doctors to offer hospital births to poor women.
The program was launched in early 2006 in five northern districts, and scaled out to the rest of the state by the end of 2007. By 2012, over 800 private-sector hospitals had participated and the program had helped pay for more than 800,000 deliveries.
As a part of the evaluation, Mohanan's team collected data on birth histories and outcomes from 6,000 households in Gujarat.
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Data collection in India
For the study, Manoj Mohanan's team collected data from 6,000 households in one state in western India. Here, a team member interviews a new mother for the survey. Photo: Manveen Kohli
He found the program failed to increase the number of hospital deliveries or reduce related complications in part because it never reached the poorest mothers.
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Gates highlighted Mohanan's work as a part of the forward to the book Millions Saved: New Cases of Proven Success in Global Health.
"What this case showed is that good intentions need effective, targeted delivery systems to make a real difference,” wrote Gates. "There is as much to learn from a health program that did not reach its goals as from one that did."