JSI RESOURCES: Journal article

Designing for a Healthier Indore, India: Participatory Systems Mapping


In Indore, India, BHC engaged 247 multi-sector stakeholders through a systems mapping approach to gather qualitative data across three workshops and four citizen town halls from 2018 to 2020. These data were synthesized with results from BHC’s 18 other city activities to build a systems map and identify high-impact areas for engagement. Contextual findings showed a tension at the heart of Indore’s growth—Indore’s great success as a city has spurred rapid population growth. This growth creates pressure on municipal systems as population outpaces service delivery capacity. This is central to the systems map that BHC developed and is expanded upon through additional patterns that fall within four main domains: (1) leadership, governance, and financing; (2) essential service delivery and workforce; (3) information systems; and (4) community infrastructure and education. Stakeholders found three key leverage opportunities within this context that, if included in every action, could help overcome barriers. These opportunities are: (1) improving data quality, use, and integration; (2) supporting accountability to, and enforcement of, policies and regulations; and (3) increasing community engagement. Brought together through a better understanding of the key patterns driving system behavior from the context map and leverage opportunities, BHC was able to co-create, with stakeholders, seven "coherent actions" to move Indore to a healthier, more equitable state. When COVID-19 regulations ease, BHC and city officials will reconvene to finalize an implementation plan for these actions.

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