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Editorial Comments

Dr Satyajeet Nanda
Programme Manager

The Government of India has launched a number of colossal programmes for mother and child health, to uphold its commitment to the Constitution of India with regard to the overall wellbeing. One such programme is the Integrated Child Development Services programme popularly known as ICDS, which has been playing a very important role in providing nutrition and health awareness information at the village and ward levels covering both rural and urban India respectively. Within the programme, the larger medium is the The Anganwadi Centre (AWC) which acts as the nodal unit run by an Anganwadi Worker (AWW) and an Anganwadi Helper (AWH) registering children under the age of 6 years, pregnant women, lactating mothers, and adolescent girls so that they can be given nutrition, nutritional supplements and basic healthcare information to ensure healthy living. The ICDS scheme was successfully launched in Karnataka in 1975 and through its >65,000 AWCs, the Government of Karnataka has reached out to many beneficiaries who need their services the most. However, as the 4th Round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) points out (the year 2015-16), there are many districts and populations that are yet nutritionally backward, holding back the state from reaching its goal post of nutrition to all esp to pregnant women and early childhood education to all children of less than 6 years.

The Public Affairs Centre (PAC) is working in partnership with the Department of Women and Child Development (WCD) that involves among other projects, an action research project taking on various components of the ICDS scheme across all the districts of Karnataka to diagnose the lacunae behind the suboptimal NFHS findings and working closely with communities of users to crystallise concrete plans of action. PAC’s 3A Research to Action approach forms the base of this project to ensure that the project leads to actionable remedies on the ground than mere submission of academic reports.

Stakeholder Experience - DLPO (District Level Partner Organisation)

“The Anganwadi centres are designed to provide the children better nutrition, education and guidance for overall growth. The activities in the Anganwadi centres should increase and special attention should be given to the provision of nutritious food and education to children and basic health services to women. PAC and BGVS through the collaborative project can provide better guidance to existing Anganwadi centres about the ways to enhance relevant health and education activities”.
Syed Hafeezulla

State Joint Secretary,
Bharath Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS),
Raichur, Karnataka

Project Updates

The PAC project – Improving Service Delivery for the Welfare and Development of Children under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) with the Women and Child Department (Government of Karnataka) will conduct disaggregated analysis to find out regional differentials in child and women nutritional status and the plausible factors behind them. The project also encompasses investigations into stakeholder contributions through the study of constructs such as community participation, service provider efficiency, etc. for better understanding of possible institution-strengthening options.

In addition to secondary data analysis, primary data will be elicited from various stakeholders using different types of tools such as structured CRC questionnaires and semi-structured checklists/ guidelines following a mixed method approach (qualitative and quantitative methods). The stakeholders who will be covered in this study are the main service providers or the Anganwadi Workers and beneficiaries including children (0-6 years), adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.

Improving Service Delivery for the Welfare and Development of Children under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) is a 3-year project assigned by the Women and Child Development (WCD) Department (Government of Karnataka) to PAC. Primarily the project will enable community ownership of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) centres to hold accountable service providers in the ICDS service delivery value chain.

Public Affairs Centre (PAC) engages in action research focussing on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the context of India. PAC is a not for profit think tank established in 1994 with a mandate to improve the quality of governance in India. The Centre is also a pioneer in deploying innovative Social Accountability Tools (SAT) to measure the quality and adequacy of public services.

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