Health Policy Action

SOCHARA got many opportunities during the last 3 decades to engage with policy makers of NGO networks, central and state governments, national and international agency to bring community perspectives to policy making in the country. We have participated in several Expert committees, Task forces, and policy initiatives and dialogues. Sustained policy engagement and dialogue is one of the six innovative instruments of engagement that we have tried to evolve over the years as a representative of civil society. This has been described in the latest publication of SOCHARA-Social justice in Health – Multiple pathways towards Health for All.

“Health policy processes:

Sustained policy engagement and dialogue – whether as critical constructive engagement;oppositional and confrontational; or in consensus development mode are process instruments which are recognized and used as increasingly effective tools. The processes by which various strong interests in health influence health policy process in any country operate, are only more recently being studied, scrutinized, interrogated and engaged with. The evolution of the National Rural Health Mission in India; community monitoring and community action for health in the NRHM; in Thailand the National Health Act and National Health Assembly  and the changes in distorted childhood immunization policies in the state of Tamilnadu in India are examples of sustained processes in three very different contexts and levels. The World Health Report 2008 on Primary Health Care records the role of civil society and social movements in its section on ‘Mobilizing the Communities’ by recognizing these experiences and instruments of engagement in India, Bangladesh, Chile, Western Europe and Mali, demonstrating that this is now an increasing global trend.”

SOCHARA’S Involvement in Health Policy Processes

Civil Society and Network

  • Health policy for mission hospitals, Catholic Hospital Association of India (CHAI) 1989
  • Commission for the Health Care Apostolate  of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) 1990.
  • Towards an Appropriate Malaria Control Strategy an expert group set up by  Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) in collaboration with SOCHARA. (1997) 
  • Participation in Independent Commission for Health in India (ICHI) facilitated by the Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) (1999)
  • HIV AIDS policy for Mission Hospitals
  • Renewal of commitment to Comprehensive Primary Health Care, Christian Medical Association of India



  • Task force on Health and Family Welfare, Govt of Karnataka -1999 (Final Report: Karnataka Towards Equity, Quality and Integrity in Health, April 2001)
  • Facilitation of the Karnataka State Integrated Health Policy (2002)
  • Karnataka Integrated Health, Nutrition and Family welfare Services Development Project; Towards Equity and Quality in health care Services. November 2000
  • Mission Group for Public Health of the Karnataka Jnana Ayoga, 2011 (Report; Towards A Community Oriented Public Health System Development in Karnataka 2013) 


  • Orissa Vision 2010 – A Health Strategy: Medium Term Strategies and Action Points, Oct 2002. Department of Health and Family Welfare Govt of Orissa

Madhya Pradesh

  • Jan Swasthya Rakshak Scheme of the Government of Madhya Pradesh (Participatory interactive review July – Dec 1997 and July–November 2001)
  • Rajiv Gandhi Mission for control of diarrheal disease
  • Swasthya Jeevan Guarantee Yojana Scheme
  • Madhya Pradesh Human Development Report II and III


  • The State Health Resource Centre (SHRC), Chhattisgarh: study on Origin, Role, Review of Achievements.
  • Mitanin Programme- A state wide community health worker Programme in Chhattisgarh, -A Community Health Cell study.


  • National Health Mission
    • Task force on Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS)
    • ASHA Mentoring Group (AMG)
    • Advisory Group for Community Action (AGCA)
    • Task force on Medical Education
  • National Knowledge Commission 
    • Education for Community Health (subgroup) of the Working group on Medical Education of the National knowledge Commission, 2007
  • Planning Commission
    • Steering group on Primary Health Care, 2008
    • Mid- Term Appraisal of Health section of the 11th Five year plan
    • Steering group on AYUSH for 12th Five Year Plan
  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare 
    • Public Health Consultant to AYUSH department
    • Consultation to evolve Report to the people of India on health presented in parliament
    • Macro Economic Commission of Health in India


  • Guidelines for Implementation of Roll back Malaria at District Level (SEA-MAL-230)
  • Participated in regional meeting on Application of Epidemiological Principles for public Health action – 2009
  • Key plenary paper on Revitalizing primary health care: How can epidemiology help in the South East Asia Regional Conference on Epidemiology, new Delhi March 2007
  • Regional Strategic Directions for Strengthening Community based health Workers and Community health volunteers in the South East Asia region. (Peer Review)  


  • Capacity Building for Public Health in the Asia Pacific Region (A policy reflection for UNESCAP, Bangkok) – 2004


  • WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health 
    • Pre commission consultation to plan framework of CSDH. London.
    • Measurement and Evidence Knowledge Network
    • Facilitation of Civil society dialogue with commission in several regions
  • WHO Global Conferences on Health Promotion 
    • 6th GCHP Bangkok – (Background paper Global health promotion scaling up for 2015 – A brief review of major impacts and developments over the past 20 years and challenges for 2015)
    • 8th GCHP Helsinki (steering group and plenary speaker on role of civil society and social movements in catlysizing health in all) 

World health report 2008, Primary health care: Now More Than Ever (Planning group, and external reviewers representing civil society)

  • Beunos Aires Declaration from International Conference on Pirmary Health Care, August 2007 in Beunos Aires, Argentina