Harnessing the Power of Women Collectives to Promote Women’s Nutrition

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Harnessing the Power of Women CollectivesStunting in children is a measure of chronic undernutrition with profound irreversible adverse consequences. Childhood stunting is the most prevalent form of undernutrition in India and most severe in tribal population. The mechanisms to deliver the essential nutrition interventions for women do exist but are managed by multiple departments, with weak coordination. Community engagement in improving last mile delivery of health and nutrition interventions has been researched and valued, but has largely remained honorary work.

This study assesses feasibility of community collectives as a funded stakeholder (partner) for improved delivery of essential women's nutrition interventions in tribal pockets/hamlets with high prevalence childhood stunting.

Geographic scope of the study was three tribal dominant districts - Bastar (Chhattisgarh), Koraput (Odisha) and West Singhbhum (Jharkhand). The study conducted between July 2014 and March 2015, had an exploratory and an assessment phase, both involving a mix of research methodologies. The exploratory phase included a situation assessment of women’s nutrition status and mapping of community collectives in these districts. The assessment phase included institutional and programme capacity assessment of “matured” collectives and stakeholder’s experiences and perceptions on partnering with community collectives for improving delivery of essential nutrition interventions.

New Concept edited and designed the report.