This briefing paper describes research on the impact of women's groups, which meet monthly to share experiences about birth-related health problems and develop strategies to address them, on birth outcomes in poor rural communities in Nepal, Bangladesh and India (Jharkand and Orissa states). The key findings were that community mobilisation through women’s groups: a) led to a reduction in neonatal mortality by 30% in Nepal and 45% in rural India; b) led to improvements in a wide range of antenatal, delivery and neonatal care and care-seeking practices such as hygiene practices and antenatal care attendance in Nepal and rural India; and c) cost $211 in Nepal and $33 in India per life year saved suggesting these groups are cost-effective and potentially sustainable. In Bangladesh the intervention was less successful, possibly because not enough women were involved.
Towards 4+5 Briefing Paper 5, April 2010; 4 pp.
Improving birth outcomes in poor, rural communities: The role of women’s groups in Nepal, Bangladesh and India. Towards 4+5 Briefing Paper 5.