UNICEF in Action(Rajasthan)

UNICEF is working with a range of government departments in Rajasthan to provide technical support for programmes aimed at improving child survival, growth and development. It is focusing on improving the health and nutrition status of newborns, children, adolescents and women and adequately addressing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues, particularly by working to eliminate open defecation.

The state office has been fostering collaboration between UNICEF’s Education, Child Protection and Policy Planning and Evaluation sections to create a protective and learning environment for boys and girls so that they are able to have equitable access to, and utilize, quality education and protection services.

Adolescent participation is another area where a range of UNICEF sections have come together to bring about change. In this case, the Education, Child Protection, Communication for Development, and Advocacy and Communication sections have jointly come up with initiatives to empower adolescents. Both boys and girls are being supported to make informed decisions that affect their lives, create opportunities to come together in forums and for peer learning, exercise rights and access services, take informed decisions to complete their education, better plan their own futures and take steps to realize their dreams.

In the advocacy sphere, UNICEF has developed advocacy briefs for use by relevant stakeholders and will be implementing programmes for the political leadership in the Rajasthan State Legislative Assembly. It has also conducted public advocacy on critical areas of programming such as sanitation and open defecation-free communities, Routine Immunization and elimination of child labour and child marriage. UNICEF is planning sustained media advocacy on several issues, particularly on Routine Immunization and Child Protection.

UNICEF initiatives include:

As a partner of choice for the Government of Rajasthan, UNICEF is working on a set of models and pilot interventions, particularly in tribal areas in the districts of Udaipur, Dungarpur, Barmer and Baran. The intent is to ensure the survival, growth and development particularly of children belonging to marginalized communities .

Child Survival

  • Setting up and scaling up Special Newborn Care Units, with a focus on real time monitoring and quality of services.
  • Supporting improvements in the care of women and their babies during childbirth through increasing the quality of services.
  • Health system strengthening through supportive supervision and capacity-building.
  • Demonstrating a mechanism to improve the quality of services in the most deprived blocks to address the issue of inequity.
  • Innovations for real-time monitoring of survival and development outcomes.

Nutrition

  • Offering a facility and community-based support and tracking mechanism to improve breastfeeding and complementary feeding. The special Haju Suru (healthy well-nourished child) strategy in the tribal districts of Banswada and Dungarpur promotes family empowerment in feeding through community monitoring and tracking.
  • Supporting a high rate of dose for vitamin A supplementation, with two doses every six months.
  • Working with the government towards universal salt idolization and tracking access and use of iodized salt at the family level.
  • Improving care and treatment for children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and providing facility and community-based strategies to help support children with SAM.

Education

  • Enhancing learning outcomes of children through transforming the teaching learning process, making it more student-centric, activity-based, learning-focused and equity-oriented.
  • Introducing a continuous comprehensive assessment as part of the pedagogy in all schools by 2018. In 2014, 22,000 schools will implement Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) as their assessment system.  
  • Providing technical support to monitor learning outcomes in real time.
  • Offering a school leadership programme to complementthe quality improvement initiative in schools.
  • Lending technical support to create an enabling environment for early childhood education (ECE); putting in place a curriculum, syllabus and a state policy for ECE and facilitating coordination with the state Education Department for capacity development of Anganwadi workers and their continuous support on ECE.
  • Supporting capacity enhancement of School Management Committees.
  • Supporting capacity-enhancement of academic institutes, the State Institute for Education, Research and Training (SIERT) and District Institute for Education Training (DIET), to ensure all interventions to improve education standards can be realized.

Child Protection

  • UNICEF in Rajasthan is working to strengthen systems for Child Protection by ensuring quality education to all children with a special focus on out-of-school, never-enrolled and drop-out children.
  • It is building the capacities of and mobilizing families and the community to take collective action to protect their children and help them develop.
  • To increase families’ adult incomes and prevent child labour, UNICEF is enhancing access to service providers and social protection schemes for vulnerable families and children such as the widow pension, old age pension, Aap ki Beti Yojana, Palanhar and Mukhya Mantri Hunar Vikash Yojana.
  • UNICEF is also helping to improve the state policy framework and delivery systems related to Child Protection; improve access to and the quality of social protection schemes and the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS); and assessing various Acts, policies and programmes related to Child Protection.
  • It is strengthening and supporting the capacity of the ICPS to promote and deliver the best services to the most vulnerable children in the state.
  • Designing interventions to reduce child marriage, child labour, out-of-school children and corporal punishment in schools.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

  • UNICEF is building the capacity for the government and communities to eliminate open defecation by supporting the development and implementation of effective behaviour change strategies at the state level.
  • Supporting the state to improve the quality of health care in health institutions by improving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities and practices through capacity-building of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) stakeholders.
  • Developing monitoring systems and providing access to evidence-based tools and guidelines and promoting key hygiene practices in schools through sustainable, simple and scalable models of WASH.
  • Sharing scalable WASH approaches that address priority gaps and bottlenecks in delivering and promoting sanitation facilities and hygiene promotion.
  • Supporting rural WASH sector development through improved management information systems (MIS) for WASH access and use, including identification and corrective action for the state’s most marginalized areas.
  • Creating an enabling environment for improved WASH facilities and practices in health centres through a convergence of Health and WASH programmes in 100 centres in four priority districts.
  • Creating an enabling environment to adopt key WASH practices in schools, through innovative technologies and child-centred approaches in the tribal districts of Udaipur and Durgapur.
  • Supporting the state’s institutionalization of the WASH validation system to monitor WASH outcomes on a regular basis.

Disaster Risk Reduction

  • Working with the State Disaster Management Authority to pilot risk-informed planning systems to improve disaster preparedness and response.

Communication for Development

  • Developing strategic approaches to communication through the development of evidence–based and theory-driven communication strategies in the areas of the WASH (SHACS strategy), Health (RMNCH+A and RI), Child Protection (addressing social norms on the Prevention of Child Marriage and Child Labour), Education (community mobilization for the promotion of girls’ education). These have been developed with the state government and UNICEF frameworks adopted by national flagships and have been customized for rollout across state.
  • Building the capacities of frontline service-providers from government flagship programmes so they can effectively engage with families and communities to promote social and behaviour change in relation to key child survival and development issues.
  • Using new technologies for Communication for Development (C4D): The potential of technologies such as the internet, digital tools, mobile phones and the like will be harnessed to communicate with families and frontline functionaries in a changing social and cultural context.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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