India Learning Network

Mother, Baby and Family

The Sukshema Project :
The goal of project Sukshema is to support the state of Karnataka to improve maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) outcomes in rural populations through the development and adoption of effective operational and health system approaches within the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
The project’s activities is focused on eight underserved districts in northern Karnataka (Bidar, Gulbarga, Bagalkot, Bijapur, Bellary, Raichur, Yadgir and Koppal), where the aim is to improve MNCH service delivery and outcomes. To achieve these results the project has established four key objectives:
1. Enable expanded availability and accessibility of critical MNCH interventions for rural populations.
2. Enable improvement in the quality of MNCH services for rural populations.
3. Enable expanded utilization and population coverage of critical MNCH services for rural populations.
4. Facilitate identification and consistent adoption of best practices and innovations arising from the project at the state and national levels.
The project is implemented in two phases: assessments during the first year of the project and implementation during the remaining 4 years. During the first phase, a series of assessments were undertaken, including analysis of secondary data and collection of both qualitative and quantitative primary data through mapping of all government and health facilities providing MNCH services, assessment of quality of MNCH services in a sample of facilities, in-depth interviews and case studies of pregnant and recently delivered women and their significant others, interviews with health officials, and exit interviews and community surveys. Based on the findings of these assessments, the project has designed a set of interventions at the facility, community and health systems levels.

India launched its National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in April 2005 to tackle the high burden of maternal, neonatal and child morbidity and mortality in India’s rural populations. With strong state level leadership, the NRHM in Karnataka seeks innovative ways to improve health outcomes, with a view to achieving greater health equity.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
In alignment with the NRHM’s objectives and approaches, the BMGF Maternal and Neonatal Health (MNCH) Strategy seeks to improve health outcomes in the world’s poorest regions. The foundation attempts to work within existing systems, by catalyzing responses to ensure critical, proven interventions reach underserved populations.

The Sukshema Project
In 2010, BMGF awarded funds to the University of Manitoba, in partnership with the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT), St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, IntraHealth and Karuna Trust to support the Government of Karnataka in developing strategies to improve MNCH among the rural poor in eight districts in northern Karnataka: Bagalkot, Bellary, Bidar, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Koppal, Raichur and Yadgir.

This is the Sukshema project. The project focuses on improving the availability, accessibility, quality, utilization and coverage of maternal newborn and child health services.

Newborn, Bagalkot

As a part of developing the implementation strategy for the project, a situational assessment was carried out in the project districts. While the findings of these assessments provided inputs to the identification of critical gaps and development of solution levers within the project, these assessments also provide an opportunity to promote data-based planning at the district level, an important component of the project.

Based on the assessment findings, each of the eight districts has a District Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Situation Analysis report, as a one-stop reference. The reports are available in the links below:

  Bagalkot Gulbarga
Bellary Koppal
Bidar Raichur
Bijapur Yadgir
*This reports are large in size and it may take some time to download.


Results December 2013 survey FINAL

Results baseline survey Final

Key external links about MNCH

Government Sites
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  • Repository on Maternal and Child Health

  • National Health Systems Resource Centre Database – Thematic area on reproductive and child health


UN Sites
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  • UNICEF’s work on maternal health
  • United Nations Family Planning Association’s (UNFPA) India site


Key global resources
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  • Maternal health taskforce
  • Averting Maternal Death and Disability


Key publication
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  • Indian Journal of Maternal & Child Health