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Press Release

World’s first healthcare development impact bond aims to reduce mother and baby deaths in Rajasthan, India

Convergence awarded Palladium a proof of concept grant for the design of the impact bond.

• The world’s first development impact bond (DIB) in healthcare is focused on improving the quality of care among private maternity care providers in Rajasthan. • If successful, up to 10,000 maternal and newborn deaths could be averted over a five-year period. • Partners include USAID, UBS Optimus Foundation, Palladium, PSI, HLFPPT and MSD for Mothers.

The world’s first healthcare development impact bond aimed at reducing the number of maternal and newborn deaths in Rajasthan, India, launches today.

Rajasthan has one of the highest maternal and newborn mortality rates in the country, with 244 maternal deaths per 100,000 births and 47 infant deaths per 1000 live births. The Maternal and Newborn Health DIB – known as the ‘Utkrisht bond’, taken from the Hindi for ‘Excellence’ – will support government efforts to reduce maternal and newborn deaths by improving access to, and the quality of care in, up to 440 private healthcare facilities in Rajasthan.

Impact bonds are an innovative way of financing international development. They are 100% focused on outcomes and have the potential to leverage private philanthropic capital to address some of the world's greatest challenges.

For this impact bond, the upfront funder, UBS Optimus Foundation will provide up to USD 3.5 million initial working capital so service providers can begin their work with private facilities in Rajasthan.

Interventions will be delivered by NGOs Population Services International (PSI) and HLFPPT and will reach up to 600,000 pregnant women with improved care during delivery and could lead to up to 10,000 maternal and newborn lives being saved over a five year period. The impact bond was designed by Palladium, who will manage implementation throughout the three-year term.

PSI has adapted its Engage, Launch and Support quality improvement framework and will be implementing this in 14 districts of Rajasthan. HLFPPT will be working in 19 districts to support and engage private medical facilities through capacity building, mentoring and ongoing support.

In a further innovation, all implementation partners are also co-investors, contributing more than 20% of the capital required. USAID and MSD for Mothers have committed a total of up to USD 8 million in outcome funding, provided a set of independently evaluated targets are met.

Read the full press release here.

Originally published by Palladium.