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Who are we?

One of the world's premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago (UChicago) has driven new ways of thinking since its founding in 1890. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars and thinkers to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas.

Tata Centre for Development at UChicago (TCD) is a development accelerator with offices in both Delhi and Chicago. Through its three wings – research, implementation and capacity building, TCD tests, implements and delivers actionable, scalable and impactful development ideas to the government and non-profit sector in India.

International Innovations Corps (IIC) is a social impact and implementation consulting practice founded by UChicago. The IIC recruits, trains and embeds young professionals from the best universities in the world to assist government and non-profit sector partners to scale their development programs and achieve tangible impacts. The IIC is the training wing of the TCD in India.


Is this another conference to nowhere with presentations by people who do not know my job?


Which is why the TCD’s very first Policy Implementation Lab will be held at and co-hosted by the Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust (SAST), Government of Karnataka. See AGENDA. [Link to Agenda]

TCD and IIC are founded on the fundamental principle that there are many excellent ideas and people to tackle entrenched problems of development and poverty within the government already. Where these ideas often flounder is in their execution - in the transition from pilot to program, or from translation to one context to another or in eliciting the behavior change from the very communities they are designed to benefit. TCD and IIC both support government partners in mitigating these challenges through research, implementation and capacity development.

Policy Implementation Lab is a no-holds barred space for discussion and debate to go deeper and uncover practical skills and actionable insights you need to do your job better. This is a space to step outside the panel discussion format, to engage in meaningful conversation, network and find tangible take-aways. And it doesn’t end there. We reach out and re-engage you on your take-aways at one, three and then six months after the event to offer you support and get feedback on your learning. 



A few good reasons.

·      Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) has designated SAST as a learning hub

·      SAST’s unique administrative design has allowed it to experiment with implementation innovations and pursue ambitious strategic priorities that are worth exploring in a deeper conversation with its peers

·      SAST has partnered with TCD and IIC and we’ll be happy to share how this exciting collaboration works!


Click here to view or print the agenda 


Topic 1: Governance Structures

SAST, a special purpose vehicle under MoHFW, administers universal health coverage (UHC) through its portfolio of schemes. SAST implements its agenda through both a trust model as well as an insurance-led model and can draw lessons from both models of service delivery. It is now poised to converge nearly half of Karnataka’s state healthcare budget to eliminate redundancy and improve efficiency of the state’s healthcare agenda. In this session, participants will discuss the trade-offs and advantages of different modes of UHC delivery and explore the conditions necessary for the success of each.

Topic 2: Hospital Empanelment

Through this topic we raise the larger question of stakeholder incentives. We explore how program design can create aligned or perverse incentives, and how best to manage and allocate risk and responsibility in a program. What would it take for the hospital sector – private or public – to participate actively in UHC programs? SAST will share its experiences in managing this difficult stakeholder and the TCD will share the results of a 400-hospital study undertaken by Sarojini Rao, a PhD student at the Department of Economics at the UChicago.

Topic 3: Claims Management & Fraud Detection

Continuing with the group discussion format, the participants will be divided into small groups and asked to think of processes within their organization that currently use technology/automation to improve efficiencies and consider what they could or would like to use for further improvement. SAST will provide a demonstration of its indigenous IT platforms to address claims management and pre-authorization as well as share how it designed a new strategy of fraud detection that places the medical audit at the front and center of its strategy.

Topic 4: Beneficiaries and Utilization

Why is beneficiary participation both in terms of uptake of insurance (RSBY) and utilization so low? TCD will present an analysis of utilization data and work collaboratively with participants to extract learnings to apply to the next generation of UHC schemes. The TCD will also draw policy implementation lessons from the research of Vani Kulkarni (University of Pennsylvania) and Stefan Ecks (University of Edinburgh), who conducted an ethnographic survey to better understand how beneficiaries interacted with RSBY infrastructure. Participants will share their own experiences with what strategies work in influencing behavior change in beneficiaries.

Topic 5: Success Measurement

IIC-TCD facilitators will lead two skills-focused sessions on how practitioners can use impact evaluations to measure impact and manage program success. The first session will focus on the benefits of using impact evaluations to inform program implementation, drawing examples from the sustained partnership between the IIC-TCD and SAST. The second session will cover key tools for evaluation, including Impact Evaluation, Cost Effectiveness and Cost Benefit Analysis, in order to enable participants to better read and act on evaluation results.

Topic 6: Convergence and Change

To conclude the Policy Implementation Lab, we turn our attention to upcoming changes in the universal health coverage landscape and think through how the tools and strategies discussed throughout the workshop translate to the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS). As NHPS replaces RSBY, we use this session to learn about the thinking that has informed the changes that NHPS will bring. SAST shares its preparation to implement NHPS and to converge programs to eliminate redundancy and increase efficiency of existing programs.