Since the opening of CIFF’s office in Delhi in 2007, CIFF’s investments and partnerships in India continue to expand in number and scope. CIFF’s work in Rajasthan remains central to our India programme, where CIFF has had a sustained association with the State Government.
Child Health and Development
CIFF’s oldest and largest portfolio in India is on child health and development. This has three core areas of focus: prevention, deep partnership with the government, and a philosophy of local solutions for local contexts.
We assist the Government of India on the world’s largest public health initiative – the India National Deworming Programme – which reaches more than 200 million children during each Mass Drug Administration round. We are now exploring how we not only treat but eliminate worms as a public health problem.
We also have a seven-year partnership with the Rajasthan Government, which builds a platform for Rajasthan to show other Indian states and countries how issues like maternal and infant mortality or low birth weight can be addressed through government systems. RajPusht provides cash transfers and behaviour change to improve nutrition of almost 600,000 pregnant and lactating women in Rajasthan.
Through EkJut, we support community-led efforts in Jharkhand to improve family planning and improved maternal and child nutrition and care, through which more than 300,000 women participate on a monthly basis. Born Healthy works to improve management of maternal infections during pregnancy along with improving ante-natal care to more than 100,000 mothers in Rajasthan.
In addition, Dakshata, CIFF’s safe-birth checklist programme, was recently acknowledged by the Government of India in helping to reduce maternal mortality. India recently published a Voluntary National Review (VNR) 2020 of the SDGs. One area where dramatic progress has been made has been in the reduction of the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) by 6.15%. From 130 per 100,000 live births in 2014-16, to 122 per 100,000 live births in 2015-17. The SDG Review calls out the Dakshata (page 46) initiative in reducing MMR. Dakshata (designed by WHO) is a practical tool to assist birth attendants in planning for and performing a collection of the 28 most essential birth practices. NITI Aayog also published ‘Dakshata’ as innovative approache to health and nutrition outcomes in its recent publication Health & Nutrition Practice Insight Vol. II July 2020.
Finally, our work on Severe Acute Malnutrition is based on developing Indian evidence to inform Indian solutions, creating platforms for other Indian states to learn and support each other. Our work on the large-scale implementation of WHO’s Safe Birth checklist has been adopted in 250 high delivery load health facilities in Rajasthan and replicated in 23 Indian states.
Girl Capital marks a coming of age in CIFF’s localisation, as it was the first strategy developed by a regional office – in this case India – for application globally. It focuses on supporting multiple nations and communities to realise the demographic dividend.
Girl Capital seeks to concentrate, layer and integrate our work better to support the current generation of girls in achieving their best possible transition to adulthood. This strategy focuses on averting child marriage, delaying the age of first pregnancy and increasing female labour force participation. We seek to do this through education, life and vocational skills development and income generation.
Our portfolio in India surrounding this strategy covers a variety of themes. In relation to education, Educate Girls aims to get 1.5 million Indian girls into government primary schools, tackling 50% of India’s education gender gap, and Udaan (“flight”) ensures government scholarships to get and retain 43,000 girls in secondary school across 15 districts in Rajasthan by 2022. Focusing on employability, Manzil (“house”) seeks to provide life and vocation skills and apprenticeships to more than 100,000 girls, and GLOW seeks to create sustainable business models that employ over 100,000 women.
CIFF’s child protection work in India supports grantees working towards accountability and policy implementation against child trafficking, slavery and commercial sexual exploitation.
CIFF’s child protection strategy focuses on the power of partnerships and local change-makers to drive progress to ending child exploitation. These partnerships work on several elements of child protection, from strengthening law enforcement systems against child labour, trafficking, bonded labour and child sexual exploitation, to driving political commitment to protect vulnerable children and to pursue and prosecute offenders.
Another key element of CIFF’s child protection work involves awareness raising. CIFF works with implementing partners to reduce and stop the demand for child labour, through campaigning and holding child labour supply chains to account. CIFF’s awareness raising activities have developed in recent years, through supporting the global alliance WeProtect in driving global commitments to end online child sexual exploitation, as well as funding the development of both on and offline content highlighting the prevalence and severity of child exploitation.
CIFF aims to support India’s acceleration on a low-carbon pathway compatible with the 2oC goal. Since 2019, CIFF’s Climate programmes in India address issues such as clean energy transition, combating air pollution, promoting cooling efficiency, and enhancing India’s actions on climate policy and diplomacy.
Through this rapidly expanding portfolio, CIFF has been supporting local organisations to push for India’s decarbonisation. The Energy Resources Institute, a leading Indian think tank, is a key partner for CIFF in implementing programmes on cooling efficiency. It leads a consortium of local organisations which are providing technical assistance to the national and state government in the implementation of India’s Cooling Action Plan. We also work with a group of leading civil society organisations in the power sector, such as Prayas Energy Group and Centre for Policy Research, to support the increased uptake of renewable energy and speed up the decarbonisation of power sector.
CIFF has also built a strong base of local partners to support ambitious air pollution reduction targets. Our partners, Centre for Science and Environment, ASAR Social Impact, and Observer Research Foundation have been focusing on awareness raising, accountability and providing technical support to state and central governments to build a case for clean air in Indian cities.