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One year of POSHAN Abhiyaan

We present findings on the impact of the Social and Behavior Change Communication campaign by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in India, from November 2018 to November 2019.

Paula Bronstein/Getty Images/Images of Empowerment

(Full Report) POSHAN Abhiyaan Social and Behavior Change Communication - 3 MB

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(Policy Brief) POSHAN Abhiyan Social and Behavior Change Communication - 4 MB

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The Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition or POSHAN Abhiyaan is the Government of India’s flagship programme to improve nutrition outcomes among children, pregnant women and lactating mothers. The programme leverages social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) as one of its four strategic pillars to build a Jan Andolan (or people’s movement).

POSHAN Abhiyaan made an effort to regularly push behaviour change communication throughout the year along with focused campaigns. In September 2018, POSHAN Maah was launched as a month-long intensive campaign with the aim of motivating mothers and communities to practice healthier nutrition behaviours. This was followed by POSHAN Pakhwada in March 2019 and another POSHAN Maah in September 2019. With a focus on the first 1,000 days, these campaigns have disseminated over 10 nutrition-related messages leveraging more than 20 platforms, including mass media, mid-media, and interpersonal communication.

The current scale of national SBCC programming under POSHAN Abhiyaan means that a number of messages are being disseminated through a variety of platforms across India. This raises a number of questions:

  • What is the reach of platforms and messages?
  • Has pregnant and lactating women’s knowledge of nutrition behaviors changed over time?
  • Have nutrition behaviors changed over time?
  • Going forward, which strategies will ensure greater effectiveness of SBCC platforms?

IDinsight generated evidence for the Ministry of Women and Child Development on SBCC in November 2018(Phase I), July 2019 (Phase II), and November 2019 (Phase III). Phase I was conducted across 27 Aspirational Districts in eight states; Phase II across four states (Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar); and Phase III across 16 of the 27 districts from Phase I. The purpose of returning to the same 16 districts in Phase III was to track changes over a year in the reach and quality of messages as well as the platforms that sent those messages, knowledge levels, and practices. These changes may be attributed to the efforts of India’s national health and nutrition policies, including POSHAN Abhiyaan, along with other major programs. This report/brief focuses on presenting findings on changes between November 2018 to November 2019 (Phase III) while also touching on key findings from previous phases.