Authors: Sulakshana Nandi and Helen Schneider
The Mitanin Programme, a government community health worker (CHW) programme, was started in Chhattisgarh State of India in 2002. The CHWs (Mitanins) have consistently adopted roles that go beyond health programme- specific interventions to embrace community mobilization and action on local priorities. The aim of this research was to document how and why the Mitanins have been able to act on the social determinants of health, describing the catalysts and processes involved and the enabling programmatic and organizational factors. The factors underpinning successful action on social determinants were identified as the significance of the original intent and vision of the programme, and how this was carried through into all aspects of programme design, the role of the Mitanins and their identification with village women, ongoing training and support, and the relative autonomy of the programme. Although the results are not narrowly generalizable and do not necessarily represent the situation of the Mitanin Programme as a whole, the explanatory framework may provide general lessons for programmes in similar contexts.