As a technical assistance agency, PCI provides strategic support to the government on maternal & child health-nutrition issues to achieve desired results in health & nutrition (HN) spheres at the community level. The facilitation allows government organizations in implementing a community-driven approach on HN aiming at a sustained social and behavior change (SBC). The approach goes a long way in reducing the overall vulnerability of the communities being served by the government. This finds an expression through triggered demands by communities for their HN related entitlements, enhanced access to the entitlements, emergence of improved (and measurable) HN outcomes and retention of those outcomes at the community level.
A well-defined approach enables PCI India to achieve its strategic focus in practical terms. We partner with government organizations and facilitate government partners to lead the community towards appropriate behavior changes for better HN practices. Development of capacity building modules for the government on HN has been the forte of PCI India. A robust mechanism of community’s capacity building through roll-out of a series of social behavior change communication (SBCC) modules from the platform of community institutions (CIs) and reinforcement of messages through community level thematic campaigns and household levels visits to the targeted beneficiaries prove instrumental for the government in guiding the community towards appropriate HN behavior. As part of system strengthening, PCI India also builds the thematic capacity of government staff & cadres at various levels to effectively implement the HN programs.
PCI also designs and implements small-scale HN pilot projects to demonstrate leading-edge solutions to the government partners to adopt, replicate, and scale such interventions to achieve more significant outcomes in a broader horizon. Such projects are designed to complement and supplement the government’s core development plans in the HN domain.
Such an initiative is ‘JEEViKA Technical Support Program’ (JTSP) which was conceptualized to increase adoption of key health-nutrition-sanitation (HNS) behaviors by rural communities of Bihar. JTSP ensured layering and integration of HNS in the livelihood package of JEEViKA (Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project/Bihar State Rural Livelihoods Mission) through its community institutions (CIs). The promising result of this demonstration in 101 blocks of Bihar led to its scaling in 349 blocks. The strategy also encompasses a convergence among different stakeholders, which has the ultimate aim to enable communities/CI members and their families to optimally use HN services and benefit from the ongoing HN schemes of the government. Constant monitoring of the implementation of the strategy is ensured through the concurrent measurement & learning (CML) sytem of PCI India. The mechanism stands for learning, solution designing, and data-driven decision-making system.
The outstanding results of this strategy and intervention in Bihar have attracted several State Governments and the Government of India to scale up this approach in other states. PCI India is now extending similar support to multiple other states, including Uttar Pradesh and Tripura. In 2019, PCI received another grant to provide technical assistance to the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) to scale up HN integration in SHGs throughout the country and started its intervention in three states in India – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand.