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Glob Public Health. 2016 Dec;11(10):1216-1230. Epub 2016 Mar 7.

Linkages between public and non-government sectors in healthcare: A case study from Uttar Pradesh, India.

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a Department of Research , Public Health Foundation of India , Gurgaon , India.
b Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases , London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine , London , UK.


Effective utilisation of collaborative non-governmental organisation (NGO)-public health system linkages in pluralistic health systems of developing countries can substantially improve equity and quality of services. This study explores level and types of linkages between public health sector and NGOs in Uttar Pradesh (UP), an underprivileged state of India, using a social science model for the first time. It also identifies gaps and challenges for effective linkage. Two NGOs were selected as case studies. Data collection included semi-structured in-depth interviews with senior staff and review of records and reporting formats. Formal linkages of NGOs with the public health system related to registration, participation in district level meetings, workforce linkages and sharing information on government-supported programmes. Challenges included limited data sharing, participation in planning and limited monitoring of regulatory compliances. Linkage between public health system and NGOs in UP was moderate, marked by frequent interaction and some reciprocity in information and resource flows, but weak participation in policy and planning. The type of linkage could be described as 'complementarity', entailing information and resource sharing but not joint action. Stronger linkage is required for sustained and systematic collaboration, with joint planning, implementation and evaluation.


India; Non-governmental organisations; engagement; linkages; public health system

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