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Aa 10


The story, the model

Message from Ashok

The genesis of The Antara Foundation (TAF) story dates back to 2003. I left McKinsey for an offer that could not be refused. It was an opportunity to lead the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in India and spearhead Avahan, that would eventually become the world's largest private HIV prevention program. Through this experience, I became convinced that the lessons we were learning in scaling up were universal. I started TAF in pursuit of this belief.

At TAF, we believe that there are known solutions to most problems in public health delivery in India. The real challenge is the delivery of these solutions at scale. This involves frontline supply management, creation of consumer demand and building an enabling environment.

Scale requires active partnership with a visionary state government and donors convinced of the criticality of prevention. In March 2015, we signed an MoU with the Government of Rajasthan and Tata Trusts to start Akshada, a program to vastly improve maternal and child health and nutrition outcomes in Rajasthan. Within three years, two of its innovations (Rationalised registers and AAA platform) were officially adopted and are being rolled out by the State Government to all 45,000 villages in the state. In 2019, the program was handed over to the government.

In 2019, we launched new programs in Madhya Pradesh (Akshita) and Chhattisgarh (Aadhya) – two of India’s most needy states in terms of maternal and child health. We see exciting opportunities to adapt and introduce innovations we have developed in Rajasthan. There is also plenty of scope to think afresh in these states – for example in serving the unique needs of tribal populations. It is important for us to get involved in ancillary areas such as sanitation or adolescent health. The opportunities are huge, and the prospects are really exciting!

Primarily we need donors who will support our work for the longer term, willing not just to fund, but to work in partnership.

We are always in need of talent on the team –if you are interested, pick up the phone!

I'll keep you posted. Watch this space; come and visit our work in the field


May 2020

Our Mission

The Antara Foundation’s mission is to deliver preventive public health and nutrition solutions at scales adequate for state and national impact.

Our goal is to help improve some of India’s worst health outcomes, especially in maternal and child health, including malnutrition. The founding belief is that solutions to most public health problems are well known. The challenge is delivering them ‘at scale’. To achieve this, we focus on designing and deploying innovations that encompass both, the demand and supply sides, supported by efforts that help create an enabling ecosystem.

Model 2

Our Model

Public Health Delivery at Scale

Our Model

Solutions to several public health problems are known. Methods to scale-up delivery of these solutions is not widely understood. The Antara Foundation's shared belief is that scale is the missing ingredient in public health delivery.

We believe in active partnership with the Government. The idea is to work with and through the public health system, and strengthen it. We have learned from experience that for interventions to be truly sustainable, ownership must vest with the Government or the community.

We pride ourselves on being close to the community and getting dirt under our fingernails. Problem-solving begins in the field.

Our belief is that scale can be achieved in many public health contexts by working on three sets of factors: supply, demand and enabling ecosystem.


Build health workers’ capacity, create technology for data management and strengthen facilities

Village-level data visualisation through maps


Create active and aware consumers at the village level, with individual and collective bargaining power

Adolescent girls visiting young mothers in their mohalla

Enabling Ecosystem

Create an enabling environment to garner support from stakeholders, remove barriers to health delivery, and strengthen policy

Frontline workers discuss nutrition with policy makers

The golden '1000 days'

The 1,000 days between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday are the most critical time for positive impact on a child’s cognitive and physical development. Right nutrition for the mother and child during this period can have a profound impact on the child’s growth and development, reduce disease risk as well as protect the mother’s health. The key to addressing India’s maternal and child health problems lies in identifying highest risk beneficiaries in this 1,000-day window and focusing MCHN service delivery on them. Our interventions are designed to improve the supply, demand and enabling environment around this 1000-day period, prioritizing and focusing on the most critical beneficiaries.