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.
In the last few years, CIFF’s child protection portfolio in India has evolved to focus on strengthening the available child protection ecosystem and services. CIFF’s investments will prevent abuse and exploitation of children, encourage child participation, and strengthen existing systems of safety and care by building capacities along the continuum of care.
In India, our child protection investments are premised on government priorities and policies and therefore aim to:
- Prevent all forms of violence on children (online and offline e.g.) and strengthen the continuum of care (psychosocial concerns, alternative care etc).
- Provide demand driven technical support to National, State and District administration including autonomous bodies to strengthen systems (e.g. child budgeting, tracking systems) etc.
- Strengthen existing systems and build capacities of community-based mechanisms, such as, child protection committees at block, village, and district levelsand other stakeholders to recognise and prevent violence on children
CIFF aims to support India’s vision for a low-carbon climate resilient pathway compatible with the 2oC goal and aligned with its targets for 2030 and net zero by 2070. Since 2018, CIFF’s Climate programme in India addresses issues such as clean energy transition in power, transport and industries sector, solutions for clean air and promoting energy efficiency, sustainable cooling and adoption of natural farming practices.
Through this growing portfolio, CIFF has been supporting local organisations to champion energy transformation in India. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), a leading Indian think tank, is a key partner for CIFF in implementing programmes on sustainable cooling and industrial energy transition. A consortium of local organisations – TERI and Alliance for Energy Efficient Economy – are providing technical assistance on efficient and climate-friendly cooling for all. We also work with partners such as the Prayas Energy Group and World Resources Institute and , to support the increased uptake of renewable energy in the power sector and the Rocky Mountain Institute to speed up the shift towards electric mobility.
CIFF has also built a strong base of local partners to support India’s ambitious plans for air pollution reduction targets. Our partners, Centre for Science and Environment, Centre for Science, Technology and Policy and Observer Research Foundation have been focusing on providing technical support to state government’s stakeholders to build a case for clean air in Indian cities. In collaboration with Aga Khan Foundation and Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, our project on Unnat Kheti, works to promote adoption of natural farming practices by farmers and is aligned with the Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati (BPKP) scheme. In collaboration with the National Institute of Urban Affairs we are supporting integration of climate metrics and provision of technical assistance for climate action planning in cities.