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The John D. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation


The John D. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation has been providing support for work in the population field since 1986, a time that has seen significant change in the prevailing approach to population issues. Where concerns about population pressure once led to policies focused narrowly on incentives for the acceptance of fertility control technologies, typical strategies are now based upon a comprehensive view of reproductive and sexual health and rights.


Two themes form the core of the Foundation’s grant making related to population :

>  Reducing maternal mortality and morbidity.

>  Advancing the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.


Reducing maternal mortality and morbidity was selected as a focus for the Foundation’s work because it is an indicator of much larger trends in the area of reproductive and sexual rights and health. Work related to young people is seen as important because the decisions made by young people about their sexuality can be significant in showing to momentum of population growth. In India, the two themes are closely interconnected because it is a country where fertility begins early. Almost 50 percent of young girls get married well before the legal age of 18, which means there is a high risk of maternal mortality and morbidity at a young age.


In India, the Foundation began grant making in the population field in 1990 and opened an office in New Delhi in 1994. From 1986 through 2003, the Mac Arthur Foundation provided 162 grants totaling more than 26 million to individuals and organizations in India.


Advancing national policy

The Foundation has taken several factors into consideration in developing its work in population and reproductive health in India. The two main themes are consistent with India’s National Population Policy 2000, which reaffirms the Indian government’s commitment to achieve rapid stabilization of the country’s population. The policy includes, as a goal reducing the maternal mortality ratio to less than loo per 100,000 live births, promoting delayed marriage for girls, achieving 80 percent institutional deliveries and 100 percent deliveries by trained birth attendants, and addressing the unmet need for basic reproductive and child health services.


A geographical focus

In its grant making in India, the Foundation works at the national level by providing grants to institutions engaged in training, research, and policy-related information activities as part of an effort to encourage national discussion of population and reproductive health issues.


Mac Arthur also focuses on three states in India – Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. These states were selected because they all have a significant unmet need for reproductive health information and service, they are geographically contiguous; and there are non-governmental organisations in place there with the structural and technical capacity to work effectively on relevant issues.


The Primary Themes

Concerning the theme of maternal mortality and mobility, the Foundation provides grants for three types of projects. Those that :

>  Develop innovative, community-based models that focus on strengthening birth preparedness, handling emergency complications, and piloting community health financing mechanisms in the three focus states.

>  Build the skills of health professionals, including Traditional Birth Attendants, nurse midwives, and medical doctors.

>  Advance policy debate on critical issues related to maternal mortality and morbidity such as contraception, age at marriage, and access to quality maternal care.

>  Concerning the theme of the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people, the Foundation’s India office provides grants for work designed to;

>  Improve the way young people, both in and out of school, receive information about sexuality.

>  Develop innovative models to deliver reproductive health services for young people.

>  Support improved data collection and understanding of issues related to young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in the three focus states.


The Mac Arthur Foundation also provides grants for projects that combine the two themes including support for national networks and partnerships among organizations in the three priority states.

Grants also support research on topics related to the two major themes of the work in India.


Fund for Leadership Development

The Fund for Leadership Development, established in 1995, provides grants to individuals to build leaders in the area of population and reproductive health in India. Since the fund began, 64 individuals have received more than $2.3 million in support. The selection process is a rigorous one that begins with invited proposals that are then reviewed by the Foundation’s staff and by a review committee comprised of distinguished representatives of academia, the voluntary sector, the media and the medical professions. The two-year fellowships are available to mid-career individuals who have innovative ideas, leadership potential, and the capacity to help shape policy and public debate concerning the field of population. The Fund for Leadership Development has been instrumental in building a significant resource group for India in the area of women’s reproductive health and rights.


With the maturity of the Fund for Leadership Development program, its management has been transferred to an organization based in India. (A similar transition has occurred in the Foundation’s Brazil and Mexico offices.) In 2004, a grant was made to the Population Council to continue the Foundation’s Fund for Leadership Development program in India. The grant will be administered by the Population’s Council’s Regional office for South and East Asia, which is located in Delhi. The grant advances the objective of the Foundation’s strategy – to promote leadership development in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights, with a focus on the Foundation’s two priority themes: maternal mortality and morbidity and the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.


Please address further queries to :

Fellowship for Health and Population Innovation Population Council, Zone 5A, Ground Floor

India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi 110 003, Email: [email protected]




Institutional Grants

Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India, Mumbai, Maharashtra

$250,000 in support of project to develop the capacity of non-specialist medical providers to provide quality emergency obstetric care in rural areas of India to prevent maternal mortality and morbidity (over two years)


JHPIEGO. Baltimore, Maryland

$220,000 in support of a project to develop the training capacity of Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India to help general practioners provide quality emergency obstetric care in rural areas of India to prevent maternal mortality and morbidity (over two years.)


Institute of Human Development, New Delhi

$30,000 in support of the preparation of a citizen’s report on the significant issues and progress in India in the field of population since the 1994 International conference on Population and Development in Cairo (over one year)


Mahila Sewa Trust (Seva – Self Employed Women’s Association). Ahmedabad, Gujarat

$250.000 in support of a project to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity among self-employed women and adolescents in the Ahmedabad district in the state of Gujarat (over three years).


Population Council, New York, New York

$240.000 in support of a program to develop leadership skills of individuals working in reproductive health and sexual rights, especially in the areas of young people and maternal mortality and morbidity in India (over one year).


Ritinjali, New Delhi

$ 120,000 in support of a program to develop teacher educators to address sexuality education in schools in two districts of Rajasthan (over two years).


Sangath, Goa

$225,000 in support of a project to develop implement and evaluate a population-based, integrated model for young people’s sexual and reproductive health in an urban and rural setting in Goa (over three years).



The John D. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation

140 South Dearborn Street

Chicago, Illinois 60603-5285



E-mail: [email protected]


TDD: (312) 920-6285


India Habitat Centre, Zone VA, I st Floor

Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110 003

Phone :+91-II-246 44006

Fax: +90-11-24644007

E-mail: [email protected]