MSD for Mothers-funded interventions have a strong focus on local private healthcare, including investment in social franchise networks, accreditation of private providers and development of community accountability mechanisms. These interventions take place within the context of markets where private for-profit providers compete for patients. Anticipating and interpreting the effects of these interventions requires an understanding of the nature of competition in these markets.

We aim to develop this understanding by studying the market for maternal health services in Uttar Pradesh. We are adopting an economics-based markets perspective, considering providers and consumers as economic agents facing a wide range of financial and non-financial incentives, and drawing on theoretical insights and empirical evidence from the economics literature.

Photo: PI with WHP (Simon de Trey-White)

The data collection for this component includes a mapping of public and private providers of maternal health services, followed by in-depth qualitative interviews with providers and other stakeholders to learn about their operation and incentives. We will use the interviews to explore issues such as the structure and composition of the market (e.g. provider types, barriers to entry), provider conduct (e.g. marketing techniques, pricing decisions, relationships with other providers), factors perceived to affect demand, perceptions of the regulatory and health financing environment, and interactions with the public sector.

The study will help us interpret the results of evaluations of MSD for Mothers-funded programmes and inform the design of future private health sector interventions.

For more information, please contact Dr Catherine Goodman.