ACCESS Health International to manage USAID-funded FHM Engage’s work in India

ACCESS Health International is proud to announce its appointment as the Project Management Entity (PME) for managing the key aspects of the India program of Frontier Health Markets (FHM) Engage, a five-year global cooperative initiative financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Two years after its appointment as the Network Implementation Partner, ACCESS Health has now assumed the role of PME for the India activity and will support public stewardship actions for youth-centered market development approaches for family planning, anchored under the Women’s Health and Livelihood Alliance (WOHLA). WOHLA is a flagship marketplace activity, initiated by USAID India through FHM Engage, to empower women’s health and economic development through collaborative partnerships and strategic interventions.

About FHM Engage:

As USAID’s flagship private sector health project, FHM Engage works towards strengthening health markets for improved health outcomes. The program aims to increase private sector engagement to improve voluntary family planning, maternal and child health, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and other health outcomes. It also aims to contribute to greater equity in access to high-quality health services and products.

FHM Engage provides technical assistance that supports local actors in addressing supply-side capacity gaps, aligning with consumer preferences, and contributing to equitable provision of and access to high-quality family planning and other health services and products in mixed health systems. It employs a systems approach to identify and rectify the root causes of underperforming health markets.

The project is led by a consortium comprising four core partners namely Chemonics International, Results for Development (R4D), Pathfinder International, and Zenysis Technologies, and 16 regional Network Implementation Partners.

FHM Engage in India:

Under a Market Development Approach (MDA), FHM Engage will catalyze the private sector for improved market facilitation through interventions aimed at increased access to financing, strengthened stewardship, improved regulations, and increased availability and use of health market data for expanding the contraceptive market. These efforts will improve supply and demand to ensure contraception is a lifestyle choice for youth in India who are currently prioritizing livelihood opportunities and leverage digital and offline platforms where they are comfortable accessing information, services, and products. By forging a Women’s Health and Livelihood Alliance (WOHLA), FHM Engage will facilitate a marketplace to increase the coordination between public and private sectors to achieve national goals on women and girls’ health and economic empowerment by ensuring financial resource pooling and efforts to expand access to sexual and reproductive health care, and improved availability and choice of on-demand and discrete reversible methods, including newer generation of better quality contraceptives.

ACCESS Health’s Strategic Role:

In the capacity of the Project Network Implementation Partner, ACCESS Health International leads the execution of FHM Engage’s India buy-in. This program builds on ACCESS Health’s expertise in health systems, health financing, and public-private engagement and its experience in creating knowledge products with multidisciplinary research, strengthening knowledge exchange, and enabling capacity-building platforms.

The responsibilities of ACCESS Health include acting as the managing entity for FHM Engage activities in India. Furthermore, ACCESS Health will lead the endeavor to build market actors’ capacity at the national level to steward market initiatives across multiple states. This technical activity focused on increasing the adoption of modern contraceptive methods, will particularly target women of reproductive age with a specific emphasis on youth in urban India, initially in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi National Capital Region, and North-East states, focusing on Assam and Meghalaya.

Investing in coordination and supporting public stewardship

India needs a total market approach (TMA) led coherent strategy that serves the needs of adolescents and youth. It requires coordination between different ministries and departments for Make in India, women’s economic empowerment (including the Nari Shakti Mission), catalyzing health start-ups, women’s development schemes, and entrepreneurship, among others. ACCESS Health will work with public sector units at national and sub-national levels, to promote an understanding of market development approaches and needs by establishing platforms for coordinating multisectoral dialogue, coordinating financial resources from various sources, to support under-funded interventions, support markets, governments, and the civil society to reshape existing programs, or introducing new market interventions for achieving FP2030 objectives for India’s youth and women.

About WOHLA (Women’s Health and Livelihood Alliance)

Under the direction of USAID/India, FHM Engage is working with Collective Good Foundation (CGF, an implementation arm of Samhita) as a sub-recipient, to forge a Women’s Health and Livelihood Alliance (WOHLA) in India, as a health marketplace aiming to mobilize resources to improve access to women’s healthcare service and products (including contraceptives), livelihood opportunities, and economic empowerment for young girls and women. Samhita-CGF will leverage its experience in developing Alliances (such as REVIVE, the India Protectors Fund, the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, and the Corporate WASH platform) and its CSR initiatives that have engaged foundations and CSR funders and implementation partners, to support market development approaches to address the ‘will – skill gap’ among contraceptives value chain stakeholders. This initiative has gained increased importance across development partners, necessitating the establishment of sustainable platforms that align consumer needs, market performance, and supportive regulations for youth and adolescents, who constitute one-third of India’s population.