Malnutrition remains a serious problem affecting women and children in India, in spite of largescale programs by government and private charities. This has been further exacerbated due to Covid-19. A few important findings in the recently released NFHS 5 results illustrate this strongly:
- Increased % Stunting among children, in 13 out of 22 states and UTs surveyed.
- Increased % Wasting among children below 5, in 12 out of 22 states and UTs surveyed.
As traditional Supply based programs have shown slow results, WIN Foundation is trying to tackle this problem by addressing both Demand and Supply perspectives
1. Project overview
The project aims to reduce malnutrition among mothers, infant children and adolescent girls, among urban slums, rural or tribal areas, through the following dual approach:
- Create Demand or Pull for nutritious food and hygiene among poor communities through awareness and habit formation programs, through women field health workers training and tracking and supporting their counselling activities among mothers and communities.
- Address the Supply or Push factors by training and supporting women-led microenterprises for nutritious food production and sale to the community. This includes training and handholding them for all aspects of the business.Role of Various partners:
- WIN provides
- Project conceptualization, support, multi-stakeholder management
- initial seed funds for the women microentrepreneursCentral kitchen
- outcome monitoring for overall project
- Local NGOs provides support for
- all local activities, women mobilisations, activities for women in the community,
- on-ground coordination/follow-up with field health worker training, activities, impact
- Implement microentrepreneurship program with support from Microentreprenuership-expert, management of common resources like a central kitchen.
- WIN selects local NGO partners based on the above. We have worked with MHT, Samerth, Saath in their respective geographical areas of work.
- Microentrepreneurship-expert partner
- Microentrepreneurship related training to NGO staff/managers
- Coaching sessions for Women micro entrepreneur teams
- Assessment of Staff/Managers and Women microentrepreneurs
- WIN has worked with REAL and Mr Nikesh Ingle (professional microentrep-trainer)
- WIN’s partner for the training of Health Workers, (SMDT) provides:
- Training of Field Health Workers
- Follow up with health workers on their counselling and the status of children growth.
- IIT Bombay – Child Nutrition lab provides
- Support for recipe nutrition analysis, suggestions for enhancement
- Develop localised food-based recipes with enhanced nutrition.
2. Push (Supply) and Pull (Demand) processes
2.1 Microentrepreneurship development process:
- Select potential microentrepreneurs and support them for all stages of business including market study, product development, supply chain, production, packaging, quality control, regulatory approvals, sales, marketing, branding, finance, HR etc., at regular intervals, over 18 months.
- Provide them support for a seed fund, central kitchen etc.
- In rural/tribal areas, kitchen-Nutri-garden to be promoted for healthy ingredients, apart from using them for home consumption, providing an opportunity for additional income.
- A sample outline process is provided in Annexure A, which can be customised for each location.Overall Targets for each project area:
- About 25 women to form 5 microentrepreneurship teams after a mobilization and selection process
- At least 3 Women microentrepreneurship ventures to achieve stability with Rs. 60,000 to 75,000 Rssales per month at end of 18 months.
- Achieve business proficiency, build a cohesive team
- Achieve measured impact on nutrition among community
- At least 3 women from micro entrepreneur teams to become change agents in the community.
2.2 Build awareness and demand for Nutrition and hygiene
- Training of Trainers on Nutrition:
a. A group of 25 to 30 field health workers, including Asha workers, Anganwadi workers and other community women and adolescent girls interested in becoming community health champions, are selected for training.
b. Training is by SMDT, supported by a local NGO partner for ground-level coordination.
c. Training on nutrition for 1st 1000 days starting from conception, including mother’s nutrition, newborn nutrition by mother’s feeding and subsequently additional food – up to approx. 2.5 years of age.
d. Tracking of health parameters within the community by the field health workers, to track practices, mothers’ and child growth health and infant child growth.
- Mass awareness events and activities:
These are community events, to engage the target group (adolescent girls, pregnant women, lactating mothers etc.) and disseminate relevant messages with the concept “Learn with fun”. They include a range of locally customised events and activities. A few examples of such events include:
a. Food & Recipe Demonstration: Share recipes of simple nutritious food items with the target audience, homemade as well as those made by women microentrepreneurs to encourage healthy and nutritious food habits.
b. Capacity-building of women groups: The women leaders from communities, adolescent girls, members of MahilaArogyaSamiti etc., are trained in Nutrition & Anaemia, Maternal Health, Sanitation & Hygiene, government schemes.
c. Mamta Divas /Health check-ups: Educational and awareness campaigns to promote regular ante-natal check-ups, immediate breastfeeding, family planning, referral care, Haemoglobin check-up and safe deliveries in facilities of their choice.
d. Water & Sanitation Governance: Training on hygiene, the importance of using the toilet, hand washing and other good hygiene practices, Water Quality Testing & Monitoring by Community Group, safe water storage and use.
WIN Foundation has launched 3 projects so far – 2 in urban areas and 1 in rural areas, with 3 different on-ground NGOs. These cover a population base of approx. 40,000 and we are training over 10 women microentrepreneurship teams, and over 75 field health workers are being trained.
What people say / Testimonials
Mr SirazHirani, Senior Program Management Specialist, Mahila Housing SEWA Trust
“Social issues are generally complex and require multi-sectoral interventions for a comprehensive solution that is sustainable. However, in the existing ecosystem, it is very challenging to plan such an intervention due to distinct mandates and funding sources of different stakeholders. WIN Foundation is very forthcoming in trying out new ideas that might seem challenging but promise lasting impact. The project titled “Women & Adolescent Girls Led Approach for Food & Nutrition Security in Urban Slums” is one such example wherein WIN Foundation facilitated multi-stakeholder consultation and designed a project involving 3 NGOs and 1 Social Enterprise bringing in distinct expertise of creating social capital, health, nutrition, WASH and entrepreneurship. This project addresses different interlinked issues of the poor urban community like malnutrition, health, livelihood, water & sanitation with a community-led approach. Such projects not only help to address complex social issues but also facilitate cross-learning between different partners.”
Dr Satish Agnihotri, Professor and Emeritus Fellow, Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA) at IIT Bombay
WIN and ChiNu have similar thinking on the issue of food products. Both are looking at affordable, nutritious and convenient products. WIN is also supportive of decentralized production through SHGs and micro-entrepreneurs and promotes locally compatible foods. Of course many local foods e.g. Idli or Dhokla have now become national foods! We of course need to be careful about the quality control aspects and do local capacity building for this. I am sure the ChiNu – WIN partnership will be able to contribute to the important goal of tackling child malnutrition in the difficult times ahead in the post-pandemic era.
If you are keen to introduce Mother and Infant Child Nutrition training in your area or village for field health workers, and thus contribute towards fighting malnutrition, and want to know more about the above training, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Annexure A: Sample outline of Microentrepreneurship development process:
This may be modified to suit local conditions, to achieve the same or better objectives.
||Broad Outline of Women Microentrepreneurship Development program (details may change – keeping objectives intact)
||Total period: 18 months
||Mobilisation / Selection of Women for the Microentrepreneurship
|| Identification of potential micro-entrepreneurs from the community willing to undertake entrepreneurship ( the mobilisation of women to be done by local NGO partner of WIN.)
||General session on the program for up to 40 women (approx), on introduction to the program for entrepreneurship, its emphasis on nutrition, discussion with participants in small groups.
||Selection of 25 women from above for full program – based on aptitude, interest, time, etc. (Criteria devised by WIN/NGO/Micro-entrep expert)
||Entrepreneurship journey – Basic Aspects Introduction and Team Formation
||What is business? What is entrepreneurship? Why do I want to do it?
||What are some elements of the business ( at the introductory level): markets, customers, goods/services, expenses – fixed, variable, CAPEX, price, profit, cash flow, team, brand names, etc. Emphasis on the need for nutrition for the community, market within and outside community
||Formation of teams – preferably with complementary skills
||Entrepreneurship – begin the journey
||How do you look at customers? What does the customer need? What does the customer like? (to sell nutrition products within the community)
||A food product as a business: various food items – home-cooked, bought from outside, packed, unpacked, freshly cooked, or snacks and so on. Examples of each type of product and if they remember who makes or sells them?
||What is nutrition? Why do we need it? What are examples of nutritious food at home and from outside? Why do people need to buy food from outside (why can’t they make everything at home)? What are the motivating factors for going for nutritious food products?
||How would you select nutritious food to make and sell: ready to eat-packed, or freshly cooked and served, or supplements to be added to other food and so on? What is nutritious food for women and children? Why is this important for the community? What are food habits in the community? What are opportunities to sell food products in the community?
||*** Market scanning/survey (of shops, products, customers etc) at each stage by women to help their self-discovery process.
||Consider Product options: Ingredients list, cooking process, packing and labelling process. Decide price etc. What nutrition needs do these products meet for the community and outside?
||Select initial 1 or 2 products to make. Determine product recipe, ingredients, where to purchase from, initial price etc., initial packaging, initial marketing required. Etc.
||*** In above steps 6 and 7, women may also need to be shown organized kitchens (which make snacks or restaurant kitchens which make and serve hot fresh food).
||Entrepreneurship journey – Get into action 1
||Make samples in small quantities of such products and do test marketing in the community – get customer feedback. finance through this
||Based on feedback, Finalise initial products, production volume, purchase plan, price, marketing (marketing within community and outside community). Calculate the money required for this.
||Start production, packing and sale.
||Test market to external customers
||Keep track of money spent. Money earned etc. Start learning about practical
||Analyse results – sales, profits, contribution to community nutrition, learnings of the group, challenges, risks, group motivation and aspiration level.
||Awareness Session and to facilitate for – business entity formation, Pan Card, Bank account and other legal formalities
||Entrepreneurship journey – expand action
||Business planning for larger sales and more products (e,g. for a target of sales – 75,000 per month) – for next 1 year: What is a business plan? How do you make it?
||Marketing: what are they learning from low volume sales? Introduce all marketing aspects: product/price/promotion/place(distribution) and associated aspects: logistics, storage etc.
||Production: Production process for quality and consistency, packaging – for food safety, life and marketing/branding, finished goods storage. Inventory control. – experiential learning spread over this phase – but should meet the needs of product quality from an early stage.
||Understanding of finance, team (hr),
||Organise and execute production, marketing, sales, distribution for the planned volume – through an ongoing learning process, over about 6 -9 months. Achieve monthly sales target rate.
||Analyse results – sales, profits, contribution to community nutrition, learnings of the group on multiple dimensions, challenges, risks, group motivation and aspiration level, evaluation of each team member and their individual growth over this journey.
||Entrepreneurship journey – scale up stage
||At about 15 months stage, review business, nutrition outcomes among the community (build affinity/commitment with the community using this).
||Future plans: the need for more investment, source of funds like a bank, credit societies etc (which are actually available there), government schemes for women entrepreneurs.
||Make plans and tie up support for scaling up.
||The above is given as a sample flow, and it can be changed, to achieve the same objectives in a better manner.