UNICEF in Action(Odisha)

UNICEF interventions focus on strengthening the implementation of central and state government schemes to reach the most marginalized and vulnerable children and women. Under the current UNICEF country programme (2013-2017), a strategic shift is being made from field-level implementation to improving programme effectiveness at the state level.  

UNICEF partners with a number of stakeholders including government, civil society organizations, academia, media and legislatures in order to:

  • Improve the quality of delivery of health services through capacity development, system strengthening, evidence based policy advocacy, monitoring and supportive supervision.

    UNICEF supports the Reproductive and Child Health programme in: routine immunization, community and facility-based maternal and child care, adolescent health as well as the Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission of HIV programme. UNICEF is one of the key partners in supporting the Call to Action global initiative to reduce maternal and child deaths in the state.
  • Reduce stunting by supporting the effective roll-out of infant and young child nutrition programs and practices across the state.  UNICEF supports the Integrated Child Development Scheme and National Rural Health Mission to scale up 10 essential nutrition interventions. It supports institutional and community-based care for children with severe acute malnutrition; improves the management of the Iodine Deficiency Disorder control programme; targets the persistently high rates of adolescent, maternal and childhood anaemia to prevent childhood morbidity and maternal mortality and helps sustains the high rates of Vitamin A supplementation and deworming coverage in the state.
  • Improve literacy outcomes through the rollout of the Right to Education Act (RTE) across the state. Through the Child Friendly School initiative, UNICEF supports the capacity building and implementation of the RTE; advocates for increased educational support for children from disadvantaged groups; supports strengthening teacher education systems to ensure education quality.
  • Reduce the practice of open defecation through a community-driven approach. UNICEF demonstrates the Community Approaches to Sanitation (CATS) as part of the recently launched, Swachch Odisha Mission (Gramin). It also supports improvements in access to water and water quality. Further, it ensures access to adequate water and sanitation services in schools, mandated under RTE.
  • Improve effective implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act, Integrated Child Protection Scheme and other acts such as RTE, Child Labor Prevention and Regulation and Protection of Children from Sexual Offence acts (POSCO). UNICEF focuses on the formation and strengthening of community based child protection mechanisms.
  • Institutionalize behaviour change communication approach within government departments and train managers and frontline workers on communication methods such as interpersonal communication, counselling and participatory communication.
  • Strengthening decentralized planning and governance by institutional capacity building and technical support for evidence based planning and monitoring.a. UNICEF initiatives include:

Child Survival

  • Establishment of State Quality Assurance Cell for quality implementation and monitoring of reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health in the state.
  • Piloting and scale up of Alternate Vaccine Delivery Systems and Special Newborn Care Units.
  • Inclusion and roll out of second dose of measles and Hepatitis B vaccine as part of the Routine Immunization schedule of the state.
  • Partnership with academic institutions for supportive supervision of immunization, Village Health and Nutrition Days and integrated management of neonatal and childhood illnesses.
  • Study assessment of service coverage across the most vulnerable areas of the state.


  • Partnership with the state government to pilot a Management Information System for MAMATA, a conditional cash transfer programme initiated to improve women’s nutrition.
  • Women’s Nutrition: Strengthening interventions to improve women’s nutrition before, during and after pregnancy.
  • Adivasi Nutrition: Convening partnerships and assessing capabilities of Integrated Tribal Development Agencies to strengthen nutrition initiatives for children under two and their mothers in tribal areas.
  • Inter Personal Communication (IPC) on Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices (IYCF): Convergent activity with Communication for Development teams to pilot mobile based IPC tools to improved IYCF practices in selected vulnerable Adivasi populations in three districts.
  • E Module on Stunting: Convergent activity with other sectors to develop web based training tools to train supervisors to prevent stunting and facility-based management of severe acute malnutrition in children.
  • Media advocacy on stunting as a convergent activity.


  • Partnership with State Council for Educational Research and Training and Department of School and Mass Education to strengthen teacher education in the state.
  • Technical support to develop SAMIKSHA, an online quality school monitoring tool.
  • Technical support for NUA ARUNIMA, a preschool activity-based learning package developed by the Department of Women and Child Development that promotes child-friendly early education.
  • Partnership with Department of Scheduled Casts/Scheduled Tribes schools to promote strengthening of Right to Education (RTE) compliance through quality and equity initiatives such as school cabinets, promotion of multilingual education, introducing guidelines for school and hostel management.
  • Partnership with civil society organizations to generate evidence to promote RTE compliance in schools.

Child Protection

  • Technical assistance for establishment and effective functioning of Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, High Court Committee on Juvenile Justice, selection committee for Child Welfare Committees and Juvenile Justice Board and State Child Protection Society.
  • Facilitated constitution and capacity development of child protection bodies at the state level and in all districts.
  • Based on Juvenile Justice Act, developed standard operating procedures and minimum standards and protocols for juvenile justice institutions in the state.
  • Facilitated formation and strengthening of Child Protection Committees at village, Panchayat and block level across five districts. Facilitated vulnerability mapping, village level child protection plan and linkages with social protection schemes.
  • Advocacy with different stakeholders to highlight some of the worst forms of child rights violations such as child marriage, child sexual abuse and the impact of civil strife on children in the state.
  • Civil society organizations mobilized to track instances related to violence, abuse, discrimination and exploitation of children and register and report with appropriate authorities such as the Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

  • Scale up community led approach to total sanitation – two districts adopted, and regional support extended to another two districts.
  • Statewide capacity-building on community led total sanitation.
  • Technical support for the development and roll-out of state specific Swachch Odisha Mission (Gramin) guidelines for an Open Defecation Free (ODF) Odisha programme, including district-wise ODF plans.

Policy, Planning and Evaluation

  • Strengthening the Analytical Cell of the District Planning and Monitoring Unit in Koraput to support decentralized planning and monitoring.
  • Partnerships with universities, research and training institutions to generate evidence on issues related to children and women in the state.

Communication for Development

  • Establishment and continuing support  to the Centre of Excellence for Communication, under the State Institute for Health and Family Welfare to strengthen implementation of communication activities across departments.
  • Support innovative communication approaches like Meena Radio programme proposed to be broadcast across the state in partnership with All India Radio and Department of School and Mass Education.
  • Social mobilization of School Management Committees to promote school attendance.
  • Special interventions designed to promote social and behaviour change amongst socially excluded and marginalized communities on issues that affect child survival, growth, development and protection.
  • Partnerships with academic institutions and civil society organizations to support communication research to design strategies for specific communication programmes.
  • Technical support to Directorate of Culture, Government of Odisha to strengthen implementation of state-led innovative entertainment-education initiatives like Artist Federation especially in media dark areas across the state.

Advocacy and Communication

  • Short Film Contest, a platform for filmmakers in the state being created to focus on child rights issues.
  • Media advocacy including workshop and field visits on sanitation.
  • Media advocacy on nutrition issues including workshops, field visits, short films, case study documentation.
  • Partnership with leading media house on violence against children campaign.
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