Previously Completed Projects

The Role of Non-Governmental Health Care: A Study of its Scope and Potential With a Focus on Policies to Promote its Contribution to Improved Health (China, India, Laos, Uganda, Zambia, Vietnam)
Principal Investigator: Peter Berman
Department: Global Health and Population
Sponsor: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

Dates of Research:
July 1, 2004 — December 31, 2007

The program analyzes the organization of health services and health care delivery for a set of important population health needs and outcomes. Targeted health problems are leading causes of illness and deaths, e.g. TB STI, ARI, diarrhea, malaria. The program assesses the role of private providers and public-private linkages in relation to these health needs. The program has two main phases. The first includes development of methodology and implementation of descriptive and analytical studies in the six participating countries. The second involves the design, implementation and evaluation of policy interventions to improve health systems’ outcomes. The overall objective of the research program is to strengthen health systems’ performance and their outcome in terms of improved health. A second overall objective is to seek ways through which the non-government sector can be involved in providing health care to the public, and in particular to those in most need, while ensuring financial protection of those seeking this care. For more information, see link.

Strengthening Child Protection Initiatives (India)
Principal Investigator: Theresa Betancourt
Department: Global Health and Population
Sponsor: The Oak Foundation

Dates of Research:
June 1, 2012 – August 31, 2013

In 2009, the Indian government rolled out the Integrated Child Protection Scheme to strengthen the prevention of child rights violations, enhance infrastructure of prevention services, increase investment in child protection, and raise awareness of child rights and violation of child rights in India.   The Ministry of Women and Child Development has indicated that a core component of such changes is the creation of rigorous and valid tools of monitoring and assessment to improve reporting mechanisms, accountability, and generate a body of reliable data which can inform evidence based child protection interventions at the state and national level.

Children at the Mobile Creche
Children at Mobile Crèche

In response to this need, the SAFE Child Protection Initiative worked in collaboration with Mobile Crèches, FXB Suraksha, and the Public Health Foundation of India to develop and pilot the SAFE Toolkit – a comprehensive assessment of child protection within a specific environment for the purpose of fostering and improvement children’s development and spreading awareness of the needs and rights of children. The SAFE Toolkit was piloted in two primary areas where there were considerable problems relating to child labor, trafficking, sexual exploitation, and discrimination: the Indian railways and construction sites.  In the short run, findings from these pilots were used to inform the development of standards for protection and care for street children living in and around railway stations in India, and children of migrant laborers.  Further, as the SAFE Toolkit continues to be refined and developed to better address the nuanced protection needs within the Indian context, we hope to work with the Ministry of Women and Child Development to improve the development of systems governing accountability, monitoring, and evaluation within the child protection arena.

The Shanu Project Adolescent Agency Initiative
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jacqueline Bhabha
Department: Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights

Girl in Gujarat
Girl in Gujarat

The Shanu Project Adolescent Agency Initiative aimed to better understand the educational opportunities for adolescents, particularly girls, in rural Gujarat. Researchers mapped the educational attainment status of a sample of boys and girls aged 10-13 and 14-17 in the villages and identifying key trends. Future phases of the project will involve the monitoring and evaluation of education interventions to be implemented by local partner NGOs. This project was in collaboration with the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), a 1.2-million member women’s union in India. Please click here for a report.

A system for household enumeration and re-identification in densely populated slums to facilitate community research, education, and advocacy

Principal Investigator(s): Dana Thomson, Research Associate in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Anita Patil-Deshmukh, an HSPH alumnus and Executive Director of PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research in Mumbai; David Bloom, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography

The team devised and implemented an innovative Location-Based Household Coding System (LBHCS) appropriate to a densely populated informal settlement in Mumbai, India. LBHCS codes were designed to double as unique household identifiers and as walking directions; when an entire community is enumerated, LBHCS codes can be used to identify the number of households located per road (or lane) segment. LBHCS was used in community-wide biometric, mental health, diarrheal disease, and water poverty studies. It also facilitated targeted health interventions by a research team of youth from Mumbai, including intensive door-to-door education of residents, targeted follow-up meetings, and a full census. In addition, LBHCS permitted rapid and low-cost preparation of GIS mapping of all households in the slum, and spatial summation and spatial analysis of survey data.