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Does local democracy improve public health interventions? Evidence from India

Costa-Font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919 and Parmar, Divya (2022) Does local democracy improve public health interventions? Evidence from India. Governance, 35 (3). pp. 799-825. ISSN 0952-1895

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Identification Number: 10.1111/gove.12606


Health care decisions in many low-income countries often require a close political agency relationship between healthcare decision makers and constituents. This is especially the case for maternal and child care as well as preventative interventions when resources are scarce. This article examines the effect of the introduction of the National Rural Health Mission in India, introducing Village Health, Sanitation and Nutrition Committees (VHSNC), a self-governance mechanism to strengthen the political agency in village health care decision making. We study the effect of exposure to VHSNC on both maternal and preventative child health care. We find that exposure to VHSNC's increase the utilization of several maternal health care services, but does not systematically increase the uptake of preventive health care. The effect of VHSNC is more intense in larger villages and areas closer to district headquarters, and is driven by an increase in the utilization of the public healthcare network.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2021 07:57
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2022 16:36

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