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