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NITI Ayog holds workshop for NE States

STAFF CORRESPONDENT

SHILLONG, Feb 10: The government think tank NITI Aayog held on Friday the regiol workshop for the North-Eastern States to dissemite the ‘Performance on Health Outcomes’ index, spearheaded jointly with the Union Ministry of Health Family Welfare, to rank and nudge States towards transformative action in the Health sector. The delegates were welcomed by Additiol Chief Secretary, Health, Meghalaya Y Tsering, Amitabh Kant, CEO NITI Aayog addressed the States, indicating that the index has been prepared keeping in view tiol priorities for the sector. He reminded that Union Health Secretary has assured that this index would be linked to fincial incentives to the States and that this exercise is not only a GoI initiative, but a partnership programme with the States.

He said several good practices are being undertaken at the State level and this is an initiative to learn from each other and promote cross-learning. He stressed that the focus of the index was on health outcomes and states could decide on the strategies and pathways to achieve this, and that the index is meant to capture the annual incremental improvements by States, rather than focus on historical achievements.

The index includes measurable outcomes such as the still birth rate, neotal mortality rate, under- five mortality rate, materl mortality ratio, total fertility rate, low birth weight among newborns, sex ratio at birth and out of pocket expenditure, among others. It also includes indicators of governce including tenures of key officials at the State and district levels and data integrity of health magement information systems. The index will also help in State level monitoring of performance, thereby meeting the citizens’ expectations.

The features of the index, measures included and methods of data submission are being dissemited to the States through a series of these regiol workshops. The index has been developed over the last eight months, with technical inputs from domestic and intertiol experts in health and economics, including academicians and development partners, seeking feedback from States through multiple iterations and pre-testing the indicators in two States prior to its filization.

The exercise involves the participation of several partners including technical assistance by the World Bank, mentor agencies to hand-hold States where required during the exercise and third party organizations to validate the data submitted, prior to calculation of the index. Data will be entered and results published on a dymic web portal hosted by NITI Aayog. This exercise is aimed to bring Health to the centre of stage of public policy, and to ensure that with increased budgetary allocations for the sector this year, there are increased efforts to achieve commensurate outcomes through efficient spending.

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Ankur Kalita