Indonesia Faces Opportunities to Improve Maternal and Newborn Health
February 28, 2017
WASHINGTON –There is an urgent need to increase engagement of the commercial private sector, civil society organizations, and media outlets to address Indonesia’s pressing maternal and newborn health (MNH) needs, cites a recent report. The report, produced by the USAID-funded Health Policy Plus project, is a call to action for the government of Indonesia, as well as the country’s private sector, civil society, and media organizations.
Despite Indonesia’s robust socioeconomic success and its place as Southeast Asia’s largest economy, it has fallen behind in reaching global health targets related to reducing maternal and neonatal mortality set as part of the Millennium Development Goals. Maternal and newborn death ratios remain high and access to health services continues to be uneven.
Indonesia continues to roll out its national health insurance scheme (JKN), which aims to achieve universal coverage by 2019. In that context, the report highlights both urgency and opportunity to leverage Indonesia’s robust private sector, civil society, media, and academic institutions for their expertise and resources to improve MNH outcomes. Furthermore, given Indonesia’s geography and diversity of need, the report calls for a flexible response to varying community health priorities that can be tailored to local needs.
Yogesh Rajkotia—the HP+ health finance senior advisor who led the landscape analysis—summed up the impact of the findings: “This was an extensive landscape exercise. We found that the private sector and civil society have great potential and interest in mobilizing for maternal and newborn health, building coalitions, and bringing about innovative approaches to tackle the barriers to MNH from the ground up.”
In the report, the study team identifies specific, concrete opportunities for both private sector investment and a robust, enabling environment for civil society, media, and academic action to improve MNH outcomes. For example, banks and microfinance institutions can improve and scale up successful midwife clinics with high demand from the community by offering affordable, advantageous loans. Similarly, civil society organizations and the media can galvanize a social movement around MNH by widening the issue’s exposure while rallying around a highly visible champion.
Together, civil society and the private sector can collaborate to stimulate demand for MNH services, improve the quality of service delivery, create and maintain a favorable policy environment, and align civil society interests with opportunities for corporate social responsibility engagement.
The report’s findings and recommendations were informed by more than 320 interviews conducted in 10 key Indonesian provinces over six months. Input was solicited from a range of private sector stakeholders, including hospital leaders and midwives, financiers (e.g., banks and private equity firms), and representatives from various industry sectors; as well as a diverse set of civil society, media, and academic institutions.
“For truly sustainable improvements in health, engaging the private sector and civil society is critical,” said Sayaka Koseki, HP+ private sector and total market approach technical lead, and co-author of the report. “These institutions—in conjunction with the public sector—are the building blocks of a country’s health system. USAID Indonesia endeavors to support the establishment of this collaborative ecosystem; this report provides a lay of the land in which USAID can start this engagement.”
To learn more, read the full report, Re-Envisioning Maternal and Newborn Health in Indonesia: How the Private Sector and Civil Society Can Ignite Change.