Periodic measurement of malnutrition and child labour in order to support program innovation in Firozabad, India

Disha Children’s Program, is a major initiative of ChildFund India, which is a part of ChildFund International, the global child development and protection agency serving more than 17.8 million children and family members in 30 countries. The aim of the program is to promote sustainable community-based strategies for the prevention of child labor in Firozabad, a district of Uttar Pradesh, which is known for its glass industry and notorious for the use of child labour.

Malnutrition creates a vicious circle of undernourishment – disease – low productivity – poverty and undernourishment. Each of the components leads to the other reinforcing the vicious circle. One main goal of Disha Children’s program of ChildFund India has been to break this vicious circle by improving nutritional status of children. Interventions are designed to improve health awareness among the household members, particularly mothers. The project is working closely with the families conducting regular health checkups and helping in immunizations of Pregnant Women as well as children. To improve nutritional status of 0-5 age group children, families are linked with government schemes like ICDS.

The last Baseline Study of Disha revealed significant need for intense activities and measurement of change in the areas of malnutrition and child labour to achieve the objectives of the project. It was perceived that more data driven and pointed activities as well as precise feedbacks through periodic and tailor-made measurements will accelerate the reduction of child labour in the project area and will strengthen the effect of the activities that have already taken place. This will effectively combine action and analysis, oriented towards improving the conditions of the beneficiaries. In order to achieve this SOCEO has been entrusted with the following services:

1.Participatory workshops with Disha Program team:

The primary objective of the first workshop will be to share the findings of the study and the objective observations of the study team to the entire ChildFund team including the field staff. The activities planned addressing the issues of nutrition and child labour will be reviewed in the context of the study findings. The activities and targets will be revisited in quantifiable terms using the numbers of the earlier measurement.

2. Data collection & measurement:

Measurements are crucial for data driven activity design of any program. SOCEO’s role is to support the project team with necessary tailor-made measurements and their explanations so that the team can focus on their activities with more certainties.