Project Samvad, is a USAID-funded project aimed at addressing Family Planning, Maternal Child Health and Nutrition goals. Digital Green collaborates with existing health system structures -- including India’s State Rural Livelihood Missions and state-level agencies of the National Health Mission, as well as other local organizations trusted and active in the target districts – to build their capacity to employ video- and other ICT-enabled approaches to increase adoption of optimal maternal, infant and child health and nutrition and family planning practices. The project has directly reached 544,000 women in five states (Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand) through facilitated community videos. We have incorporated a range of ICT solutions and mass media and mid-media platforms to complement and supplement video messages, including radio and village campaigns; focused mobile-based messaging on key thematic topics; calls with targeted, life-stage specific messages in the 1000 days period; and use of technology to improve interpersonal counselling by frontline workers. These platforms have reached 1.9 million individuals. Use of data collection and analysis tools has helped our partners to better reach the target audiences. We maximize impact by linking demand generation with public supply-side interventions.
We are working in collaboration with existing health system structures - including NRLM’s State Rural Livelihood Missions, state-level agencies of the National Health Mission (NHM) under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Department of Women and Child Development (WCD), as well as other local organizations trusted and active in the target districts, reaching the target audiences through self-help group structures. We have identified partnerships in various states that can be leveraged under this project to reach women in the critical first 1000 days window between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday through ASHA workers and Anganwadi workers. In each state, the convergence between various frontline workers is sought to maximize impact by linking demand generation with supply-side interventions of the Government and other development sector counterparts.
In this project, we are experimenting with different ICTs solutions and mass media and mid-media platforms to complement or supplement the video-enabled approach. We are looking at existing studies to determine what works in the various local social context we're working in followed by quick quantitative or qualitative assessments to measure the effectiveness of each solution. Various ICT solutions and their applicability and complementarity would be explored such as complementing video messages through reinforcement calls; focused mobile-based messaging on key thematic topics; targeted life-stage specific messaging through calls in 1000 days period; and using technology for improved interpersonal counselling by FLWs.
Digital Green’s video-based approach and focus on gathering feedback to better target behavior change communications and produce more effective messaging can improve the reach of public health programs. Building the capacity of government partners, local organizations, and systems to implement each aspect of the approach contributes to sustainability and scale. Our partners in India such as National Rural Livelihoods Mission and its state counterparts have begun to invest in and institutionalize our approach to content development, information dissemination, data capture and feedback analysis.