CARE - A toolkit for Program Leadership Development

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The Integrated Nutrition and Health program’s goal was to bring ICDS and the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to the global evidences around child malnutrition and infant mortality through a strategy, the ‘Leadership development through Self-Talk’. This toolkit showcases, with evidence and guidance on the focus of the program leaders for achieving program goals.

The ICDS program continues to be the world’s most unique early childhood development program, being operated satisfactorily over three decades of its existence. The ICDS is multi-sectoral in nature and its successful implementation depends on inter – sectoral functional linkages. The INHP II Project implemented in eight states operated over a period of five years from 2002 – 2006.

Based on the success of INHP I and the impact, the project had been extended for another five years. The second phase of INHP II emphasized replication and scaling up of proven best practices and successful strategies in a sustainable manner. In the process of strengthening the core services of ICDS and Health, the component of leadership in ICDS was seen as the key. As support to it one of the strategies of INHP II and III is to provide technical, managerial and operational support to ICDS and Health Managers at the district and project level through capacity building – and hand holding support. CARE’s INHP operated in eight districts in Andhra Pradesh at the State, District, Block and Village level through a host of effective personnel.

Project implementation strategies included capacity – building of ICDS and health functionaries at different levels, partnership with local non – governmental organizations and engaging communities. Interventions initiated by CARE resulted in better utilization of existing functionaries at the village level. Anganwadi workers made purposive home contacts focusing on behavior changes.

Self – talk is a tool, which influences our behavior by leading us into a situation or out of a situation both physically and psychologically. This Program Leadership Development tool – kit is aimed at making the key project resources aware of self – talk thereby facilitating them to utilize it as a powerful omnipresent tool that can be used round the clock. Self – talk methodology identifies different levels of self – talk and as one graduates from one level to the next, it brings with it clarity of purpose, sharpening of commitment and better planning towards achieving the goal. The four underlying forces that affect the human behavior are behavior influenced by feelings, feelings driven by the attitude, attitude that is created by a set of beliefs, and finally beliefs are the programs that our minds are set upon through experience.

The tool – kit describes the steps that a visionary leader should follow right from identifying a problem, setting professional goals, creating an action plan till achieving the goal successfully within the given time frame. The leader sets goals based on the coverage area, team strength which comprise the Anganwadi helpers, workers, supervisors, ANMs, approximate target beneficiaries and project data. The leader or the key project resources plan for accomplishing the goal that had been set based on Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic Timeframe, which summarizes for the SMART criteria.

This tool – kit was helpful for developing leadership within national flagships such as ICDS, to aid in the achievement of specific goals such as child malnutrition and infant mortality reductions.

New Concept had done the conceptualization, text and designing of the document.

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