Baseline Study for Parent Coaching for the first 1000 days in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi

About the Organization:

The Aga Khan Foundation (India) (AKF (India)) is a member of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of 11 independent development agencies addressing the needs of poor and marginalised communities in more than thirty countries where it operates. The Foundation has been active in India since 1978, implementing programmes directly and in partnership with other AKDN agencies and implementing partners. Active in six states, its multi-sector programmes include the strengthening and expansion of agriculture and food security initiatives, economic inclusion, early childhood development, education, health and nutrition, including facilitating access to sanitation and clean drinking water, and the establishment of community institutions and building their capacity to lead and sustain development interventions.

Background:

The Aga Khan Foundation India, in partnership with the Bernard van Leer Foundation, is implementing a pilot programme on ‘Parent coaching for the first 1000 days’ which combines parent coaching and improved service delivery for childcare, health and nutrition for both the mother and the child. The design of the programme is aligned with the mission of the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK), emphasizing responsive care and focusing interventions on the first 1000 days. The initial pilot phase of 2 years will be implemented in 10 blocks/urban wards of Bahraich district, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

The pilot programme has five crucial components which include: 

  • A parenting app to provide caregivers with practical advice on what they can do to turn interactions with their children into stimulating brain building moments.
  • A call centres to provide coaching to pregnant mothers and caregivers and reinforce the key messages of the 1000 days booklet developed by RBSK.
  • Comprehensive Newborn Screening at delivery points to help in identification of birth defects including visible, functional, metabolic and neurodevelopmental defects.
  • Capacity building of field health functionaries and frontline workers to focus on building their understanding of responsive care.
  • Social behaviour change campaign to focus on the criticality of the first 1000 days in a child’s life and shifting cultural and social norms towards mindful parenting during that early period.

The key stakeholder groups in the project are caregivers and health functionaries including district and block health officials in District Early Intervention Centre (DEIC), District hospitals, Auxiliary nurse midwives (ANM) and Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs). The baseline survey will capture the existing knowledge, attitudes and practices on child-rearing among caregivers, especially their understanding of age-appropriate activities, responsive care and attitude towards play. The survey will also assess the existing capacities of government functionaries and frontline workers, with respect to their understanding of ECD, their ability to communicate messages to communities, and support provided to caregivers. The baseline survey will provide inputs towards the development of programme and communication strategies.

NGO Promotion

Objectives:

The agency / team of experts is expected to undertake the baseline study to get an in-depth understanding of the existing knowledge, attitudes and practices around caregiving, play and discipline. The study will form the basis for understanding the gaps in terms of existing care practices, capacities of health functionaries and frontline health workers. The key aims of the study are:

  • Identify the knowledge gaps, existing cultural beliefs and practices around responsive caregiving, early learning activities, play and discipline, especially in the first 1000 days.
  • Ascertain the key factors that influence particular beliefs and attitudes, and why caregivers have certain practices and behaviors
  • Conduct a household level assessment to understand the context and needs of pregnant, lactating mothers and caregivers of children below 2 years, and the status of ECD services availed at health/Anganwadi centres
  • Conduct a gap analysis to understand the existing capacities of government health functionaries and frontline workers to implement Home-Based Care for Young Child (HBYC), Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and first 1000 days programme to support caregivers on nutrition, health and childcare.
  • Identify cultural factors and key communication channels that should be factored in while designing messaging and campaigns on the first 1000 days for parents
  • Identify existing social behaviour change campaign materials and tools available at health facilities, Anganwadi centres and at the community level, mapped to different government programmes targeting women and children below 3 years.

Scope of work:

The agency / team of experts will be responsible for the overall design of the study, sampling strategy, development of data collection tools and protocols, data collection, entry and analysis, and report writing. The agency / team of experts will develop overall design and data collection tools or protocols in consultation with AKF India representatives.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Designing the study methodology and sampling strategy
  • Developing data collection tools and protocols, mapped with the project’s outcome indicators
  • Translating data collection tools to Hindi, and back-translation to English
  • Training of data enumerators
  • Collecting data, and ensuring the quality of the data being collected; please highlight the quality control mechanism
  • Analyzing the data and presenting it in a succinct manner
  • Consulting with the AKF team and relevant stakeholders in the government

The agency will be responsible for training the field staff on data collection techniques, for the final data entry, and must ensure the quality of data collected.

Key Deliverables:

  • Inception report, including a desk review, the methodology, sampling strategy, data collection tools and protocols, and quality control
  • A presentation, including preliminary findings from the study
  • A written study report with analysis and recommendations (after incorporating feedback from the AKF team on an initial draft) along with an executive summary
  • All raw datasets (clean) in Excel format

Timeline:

The assignment will be for 2 months, starting from April 2020. A tentative timeline is shown below for reference.

  • Inception report: 2 weeks
  • Data collection and entry: 4 weeks
  • Presentation and draft report: 2 weeks
  • Final report : 1 week

Profile of the agency:

The assignment can be carried out by an agency or a team of experts. If a team of experts is selected, one team leader should be chosen. This person will be the sole responsible party for managing the assignment, coordination between the experts and for all communication with the AKF India team.

The agency / team of experts should have the following skills, experience and knowledge:

  • 5 – 7 years’ experience in conducting baseline studies/ KAP surveys for international agencies and/or government organizations
  • Team member(s) must have a background in Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programmes. Please include skills and competencies of key team members proposed to be staffed on this project.
  • Demonstrated experience of using innovative approaches in investigation and analysis
  • Experience of working with marginalised communities is preferred
  • Excellent communication skills (spoken and written) in Hindi and English

Closing Date: Friday, March 20, 2020; 5 p.m. IST

Email id: akfindia@akdn.org

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