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Informal Health Market Dynamics

Project overview

Informal providers are individuals who are not formally trained or monitored to perform the full scope of services that they offer. They are an important contingent of the broader health market, comprising over 50% of the sector in India and close to 96% in rural Bangladesh, according to some estimates. While the quality of their services is often debated, informal providers are a significant source of care for many poor individuals in the developing world.

Other sudies have focused on understanding slices of the broader informal health market – who are IPs? Where do they practice? What type of services do they offer? But informal providers don’t work in isolation. They function within a network of peers (both formal and informal), suppliers, consumers and entire communities, each offering their own unique set of incentives and influences that impact IP behavior. This set of studies is looking to better understand these interactions in an effort to identify opportunities where interventions can affect positive change.

FHS members were involved in the studies in Bangladesh and Nigeria. The Bangladesh study was called: The role of drug sellers in the informal medical markets: an exploratory study for effective interventions. The Nigeria study was called: A Study of the Role of Patent Medicine Vendors (PMVs) in the Informal Anti-malarial Market in Nigeria. More information is available from CHMI.

Project duration

July 2011 - July 2012

Project funders

FHS participants

Related resources