Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Generating political will for safe motherhood in Indonesia

Contents:

Author Info

  • Shiffman, Jeremy
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    In 1987 an international conference brought global attention to an issue that previously had been ignored: the world's alarmingly high number of maternal deaths in childbirth. The conference ended with a declaration calling for a reduction in maternal mortality by at least half by the year 2000. As the deadline approached, safe motherhood activists lamented the fact that the world was nowhere near to achieving this objective. They attributed this failure to a variety of causes, but were in agreement that the medical technology was available to prevent maternal deaths in childbirth, and the key was generating the political will to make such technology widely available to women in developing countries. What 'political will' means, however, has been left as an unopened black box. What causes governments to give priority to the issue of safe motherhood, given that national political systems are burdened with thousands of issues to sort through each year? In marked contrast to our extensive knowledge about the medical interventions necessary to prevent maternal death, we know little about the political interventions necessary to increase the likelihood that national leaders pay meaningful attention to the issue. Drawing from a scholarly literature on agenda setting, this paper identifies four factors that heighten the likelihood that an issue will rise to national-level attention: the existence of clear indicators showing that a problem exists; the presence of effective political entrepreneurs to push the cause; the organization of attention-generating focusing events that promote widespread concern for the issue; and the availability of politically palatable policy alternatives that enable national leaders to understand that the problem is surmountable. The paper presents a case study of the emergence, waning and re-generation of political priority for safe motherhood in Indonesia over the decade 1987-1997, to highlight how these four factors interacted to raise safe motherhood from near obscurity in the country to national-level prominence. While there are contextual factors that make this case unique, some elements are applicable to all developing countries. The paper draws out these dimensions in the hope that greater knowledge surrounding how political will actually has been generated can help shape strategic action to address this much neglected global problem.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBF-45PK2YV-1/2/6edee61b4bbd2b892c269e90c2629355
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 6 (March)
    Pages: 1197-1207

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:6:p:1197-1207

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description

    Order Information:
    Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
    Web: http://www.elsevier.com/orderme/journalorderform.cws_home/315/journalorderform1/orderooc/id=654&ref=654_01_ooc_1&version=01

    Related research

    Keywords: Safe motherhood Maternal mortality Political will Indonesia Agenda setting;

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Ensor, Tim & Clapham, Susan & Prasai, Devi Prasad, 2009. "What drives health policy formulation: Insights from the Nepal maternity incentive scheme?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 90(2-3), pages 247-253, May.
    2. Hui-Peng Liew, 2010. "The Migrant–Nonmigrant Differentials in Prenatal Care Utilization: Evidence from Indonesia," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 29(5), pages 639-658, October.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:6:p:1197-1207. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.