Lessons Learned

 

  • Supplementing the work of the Government has resulted in synergistic work output and results. It has encouraged involvement of all levels of government staff in program planning and execution, resulting in ownership of the program.
  • Involving ICDS Supervisors and CDPOs right from the start facilitated smoother functioning of the project and active participation of ICDS functionaries.
  • Refresher and continued periodic training of ICDS staff helped in improving the effectiveness of interventions.
  • Home-based counseling proved to be an effective strategy in motivating caregivers to adopt best practices in mother and child care.
  • Accompanying parents of SAM children to NRCs enabled them to understand the severity of malnutrition, its impact and reiterated the importance of screening and treatment, thereby resulting in better treatment adherence.
  • Awareness sessions along with cooking demonstrations on preparing nutritious recipes from THR resulted in an increase in uptake of THR.
  • Fixing a schedule for weighing of children below two years in collaboration with all stakeholders resulted in regular growth monitoring of these children in the community.
  • Selecting and empowering women from the community as project functionaries and training them on health issues and systems, rendered the program more sustainable.
  • Involving all family caregivers in project activities encouraged the involvement of men and other family members in care during pregnancy and childcare, and in turn enhanced maternal and child health and nutrition indicators in project areas.
  • Mothers’ groups served as an organic support structure, especially for first time mothers, that allowed for experience sharing and dissemination of information on nutrition and care.
  • Community mobilisation through various events and awareness programs, resulted in an increase in community buy-in and project ownership—facilitating project sustainability.
  • The overall trends after intervention are encouraging across the project areas, although resistance to improvement has been observed in a few indicators.
  • UNI is a pilot project that helps implementing organisations and stakeholders to understand the efforts, and strategies needed to address malnutrition in communities and therefore needs to be seen as the beginning for further action.