On 23 January 2019, MICA Ahmedabad and UNICEF India - Gandhinagar State Office signed a Project Cooperation Agreement for a two-year maternal and child health management and behaviour change communication program. The partnership will focus on improving maternal and child health through routine immunisation, adolescent empowerment and ODF/Sanitation initiatives.
MICA President & Director Dr. Shailendra Raj Mehta, MICA Dean Dr. Preeti Shroff and UNICEF Gujarat Chief Dr. Laxmi Bhawani launched the partnership. MICA faculty Prof. Manisha Shelat-Pathak, Prof. Arbind Sinha will be the senior advisors for the program. The Institute has appointed Mr. Kshitij Joshi, who has an extensive international project management experience with UNICEF, to lead the project for evidence based research and results oriented interventions.
Project interventions will be based on needs identification across four districts (Narmada, Banaskantha, Sabarkantha and Kutch) and one urban area (Surat) in the State. Activities will include improving health delivery systems, social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) and awareness programs. Education and communication capacity building will take place for decision makers, health delivery personnel, community influencers and stakeholders such as - leaders, youth, women, children.
Phase 1 will develop in close collaboration with relevant Government ministries and line departments, and in convergence with UNICEF State programmes. MICA's Centre for Development Management and Communication (CDMC) will undertake comprehensive field research and gap analysis of problem areas in priority areas to diagnose operational and managerial challenges and district specific social, cultural, economic and political factors for effective implementation of SBCC components.
The partnership aims to support and strengthen various departments of Government of Gujarat (Health and Family Welfare, Women and Child Development, Education, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Social Justice and Empowerment and Tribal Development) in development of evidence based action plans at the State and district levels for these programmes to further improve effectiveness of behaviour change interventions. The primary focus here will be adapting global guidelines and national strategies to make it actionable and relevant for Gujarat to address the specific needs of heterogeneous populations. A sustained strengthening of institutional capacity to address the identified challenges will be conducted to develop capacities of managers and functionaries to effectively roll out the action plans through trainings and extended hand holding in the priority districts.
The Centre for Development Management & Communication (CDMC) at MICA is a centre of excellence for governance capacity development and societal impact. It leverages MICA’s expertise in social impact capacity development, digital communication and information management to strengthen development programs across sectors.
The CDMC meets current and impending demands of social development for government, academia, civil society and corporate sectors by designing innovative solutions and best practices driven by evidence based research grounded in socio-cultural and economic realities across countries. It strives to bridge the gaps in the areas of human capacity development, systems management and social impact communication, ultimately contributing to the last mile coverage of development initiatives for results driven impact.
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