The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was launched on 12th April 2005, to provide accessible, affordable and accountable quality health services to the poorest households in the remotest rural regions. Under the NRHM, difficult areas with unsatisfactory health indicators were classified as special focus States to ensure greatest attention where needed. The thrust of the Mission was on establishing a fully functional, community owned, decentralized health delivery system with inter-sectoral convergence at all levels, to ensure simultaneous action on a wide range of determinants of health like water, sanitation, education, nutrition, social and gender equality. From narrowly defined schemes, the NHM was shifting the focus to a functional health system at all levels, from the village to the district.
Annual Common Review Mission has been one of the important monitoring mechanisms under NHM. Twelve Common Review Missions (CRMs) undertaken so far have provided valuable understanding of the strategies which were successful and those which warranted mid-course adjustments.