Effects of Early Stimulation and Nutrition: A study in Odisha

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Multiple Partners

Yale University, Institute for Fiscal Studies, UK, University of Pennsylvania (Research and Funding partners)have come together with Pratham NGO (Delhi and Odisha) (Implementation Partners);CECED, Ambedkar University Delhi (Technical Partners) and JPAL-SA (Third Party Evaluation Agency) for this research study in Odisha. A brief description of the study is as follows:

Project Brief:

Yale University, Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), University of Pennsylvania and Pratham received a grant from the National Institute of Health, USA to conduct a study on early stimulation  titled ‘Early Childhood Development for the Poor: Impacting at Scale’, in the state of Odisha. The project is further funded by ESRC, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania and SIEF.

The study is designed to document how early stimulation, in combination with a nutrition program and offered through different modalities (Individual support to caregivers and group support to caregivers) can affect child development outcomes. This is a large scale intervention using a randomised control trial.  This research involves a two year intervention for 2000 infants and toddlers in three rural districts of Odisha (Soro, Bolangir and Salepur). The intervention, an adaptation of the Infant Stimulation package developed by Dr. Sally Grantham-McGregor in the University of West Indies, has been on-going since December 2015. An earlier study, which evaluated home visits only, was conducted in Cuttack on 400 children. CECED has been instrumental in providing technical support to its partner agencies such as Pratham NGO and JPAL-SA. A summary of activities led by CECED is also presented.

CECED’s role: Some Highlights

Adaptation of the Individual Curriculum: CECED, in collaboration with ICDDR,B has adapted the Individual Infant stimulation package from the original Jamaican curriculum developed by Dr. Sally Grantham-McGregor for this research study. The original curriculum is available at: http://www.reachupandlearn.com/ . The early stimulation package has been contextualized for young children between the ages of 6 months to 42 months and primary caregivers in Orissa.

Development of a Group curriculum: A Group Curriculum was developed by CECED, to explore the effects of an alternative service delivery option and facilitate scaling up in the Indian context. This is a unique feature of the project in India. In order to ensure quality and effective transaction of the curriculum, training manuals and intervention guidelines have been prepared for capacity building of the field functionaries.  CECED has also conducted intensive piloting of Group Curriculum in both Delhi and Orissa.  Several demonstration sessions and guided practice sessions have been carried out in the last year by CECED along with Pratham Odisha team.

Training: Further, CECED has been involved in conducting trainings on Individual and Group Curriculum, reflective supervision and assessment tools – (ASQ) with partner agencies such as Pratham, Odisha (NGO) and JPAL-SA.