A major impediment to India reaching the targets for the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) related to preventing neonatal and maternal deaths is the disparate performance of the Indian primary health-care system across geographies and providers. Stepping into this gap, there is an urgent need for health care innovation in India. Social entrepreneurs seeking to contribute to sustained impact at meaningful scale in the health sector should consider the advantages of partnering with the Indian government at the district, state, and national levels.
This article examines three case studies which provide a window into different government-partnership models that emerged from the eight year-long Ananya experience in Bihar. The lessons that emerged from these efforts can be instructive for funding agencies, NGOs, researchers, the private sector, and social innovators interested in scaling health innovation through the public sector, in India, and in other low- and middle-income countries.