Select Page

How to Enhance and Sustain Community Participation in Health in Urban Areas of India

Author: Manjula Bahuguna

Mentored By: Dr. Sudha Ramani


Community participation is an indispensable strategy for improving health outcomes and strengthening health systems. It helps programs to be informed by local knowledge and makes interventions relevant to the community needs [1, 2]. It is also a transformative process which empowers individuals, communities to enhance self-care and become self-reliant to take charge of their health by actively engaging in program planning and implementation [3]. But different contexts pose a different set of challenges to community participation which may lead to it remaining as a tokenistic intervention [4, 5].

The aim of this policy brief is to highlight some of the processes which can help health programs in urban areas to achieve enhanced and sustained community participation.


We used a combination of two methods. First, a review of literature on community participation in urban areas of lower-and middle-income countries (LMICs) and second, in-depth interviews of community volunteers of a non-governmental organization (NGO) to document their lived experiences of working in the field of health in urban informal settlements of Mumbai.


We present our findings in two parts:

  1. Key learnings from the review
  2. Key learnings from in-depth interviews

In order to access the full original content, send an email to