The District Health Society in Kamrup district of Assam has designed a unique approach to facilitate cash transfer of voucher for National Rural Health Mission scheme through post offices.
The state of Assam has successfully implemented many innovations to provide quality healthcare to women and children under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). In July 2009, the District Health Society (DHS) of Kamrup-Rural district in Assam collaborated with the Department of Posts to design vouchers for cash transfer under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) for promoting institutional delivery and Mamoni scheme for providing nutritional support to pregnant women under NRHM in the state.
Till recently, the DHS of Kamrup district was using account payee cheques through recognized banks to make cash payments to women under both the schemes. However, the poor reach of banking facilities in rural Assam presents many challenges in making timely payments to beneficiaries.The voucher for institutional delivery through post office initiative seeks to address these challenges by shifting the payment medium from banks to post offices. The high penetration and accessibility of post offices across the state, rural people’s familiarity with the post office staff and the simple procedure of opening an account at a post office makes post offices a better medium for delivering the cash entitlements under NRHM efficiently and on time.
The voucher for institutional delivery through post office initiative has simplified the process of providing cash benefits under NRHM and is addressing the problem of delay in making payments. It has created an easily accessible channel for the beneficiaries to avail their benefits and has introduced efficiency by providing payments on time. By leveraging existing postal infrastructure and resources for an extra service, the voucher initiative provides a very good example of convergence efforts in public service delivery.
This case study was published in December 2011.Download File