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Theorizing community health governance for strengthening primary healthcare in LMICs

Madon, Shirin and Krishna, S. (2022) Theorizing community health governance for strengthening primary healthcare in LMICs. Health Policy and Planning, 37 (6). 706 - 716. ISSN 1460-2237

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Identification Number: 10.1093/heapol/czac002


In recent years, community health governance structures have been established in many low and middle-income countries (LMICs) as part of decentralization policies aimed at strengthening primary healthcare systems. So far, most studies on these local structures either focus on measuring their impact on health outcome or on identifying the factors that affect their performance. In this paper we offer an alternative contribution that draws on a sociological interpretation of community health governance to improve understanding of how the government’s policy vision and instrumentation translate to interactions that take place within local spaces at field level. We study 13 Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committees (VHSNCs) in Karnataka, India, from 2016 to 2018 focusing on sanitation, nutrition and hygiene which remain impediments to improving primary healthcare amongst poor and marginalized communities. Three local governance mechanisms of horizontal coordination, demand for accountability and self-help help to explain improvements that have taken place at village level and contribute to the creation of a new theory of community health governance as evolving phenomenon that requires a constant process of learning from the field to strengthen policymaking.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2022 10:00
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2022 15:21

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