Project Lead(s): Abhay Gaidhane, Prakash Behere
In India, health services in the low income and indigenous tribal area of Maharashtra are provided through a network of the public health system. Anganwadi worker (AWW), a local community based worker under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), established in 1975, provides supplementary nutrition, preschool education, nutrition and health education and referral services. Despite their significant role in child development, AWW are often overburdened due to administrative and documentation related work. Time at disposition and skills of AWWs are major challenges for them to satisfactorily carry out childhood development and other activities.
This innovation aims to integrate and enhance the existing Anganwadi Program with local resources in the private and education sectors to create a higher-impact program for early childhood development (ECD) of indigenous tribal groups. The project will create a enhanced curriculum for early childhood development using a tailored family-centered approach. The use of a tablet/PC-based smart register will enable staff to track child progress and optimize health service utilization. The public-private partnership will also spur collaboration between AWP centers and private preschools to guarantee sustainable training and capacity enhancement. Furthermore, partnerships with community colleges and medical schools will enable continuous quality improvement and training.
The innovators are confident that the attendance in AWC will increase to at least 50%. In addition, it is expected that all the children in the intervention group will show some improvement in cognitive and behavioural measures.