Project dream- An effort to facilitate holistic development of kids
This was the document prepared for ideas phase but we included it in the research contributions, so we would like to take this chance to again bring our ideas to notice of wider audience.
Project dream focuses on holistic development of children, with emphasis on mental, physical and social development. We have paid detailed attention to all these aspects and have come up with novel ideas to ensure that children get the deserved resources. This has been developed over the existing integrated child development scheme (Anganwadi) in India, by identifying the drawbacks in the model and providing solutions on how the model can be implemented more effectively.
From the analysis, we roughly estimated about 70$ of expenditure per child per annum. To compare the scale of the money, as the calculations are based on Indian scenario, we drew reference to subsidies in practice. A 70$ per anuum per child is the least of any such subsidies currently being implemented. For example, pension amount given for old people is 300-400$ per anuum.
This model is relevant to developing African countries like Uganda, where this type of model is very new. With no preconceived opinion among the people living in these areas about such development programs, parents & kids will be more enthusiastic to participate in development center activities, use day care and attend information systems. For a country like India, where an existing Anganwadi program is currently operational, new features are discussed here and can be included in the program. The objective is to develop a structured program on the base of currently ineffective & disorganized program. At this stage, the model is in its nascent phase and through discussions (Ideo forum) and data collection during pilot phase the model can be made more robust.
Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?
Basically this model is developed based on a similar existing system in India. We identified draw backs and refined the model more clearly with better objectives, sustainable action plans and feedback system. This model is relevant to developing African countries like Uganda, where this type of model is very new. In India also, we are looking for helping hands where existing facilities can be used to implement some of our these ideas and test the effectiveness by concentrating in a small region. If it works out then the the effective actions can be recommended to the government for implementation into their existing system. Especially, in newer states of India like Telangana and Andhra Pradesh where governments are trying to refine all the government schemes and systems, it is possible that government would be inviting to induct new ideas from community.
How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?
We would like to test in a small scale in rural parts of Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh. We would go to a village where infrastructure required for implementing some of our ideas are readily available. We would start with campaigning in the locality of our action plan and create an interest in the people to send their kids to the centers. We would follow a strict action plan covering all the mentioned aspects. At the end of the 3 months period idea would be evaluated based on the metrics identified before the start of the experiment and feedback from the community. One of the obvious metrics is an IQ test. Apart from checking mental ability, change in soft skills, physical strength and interest among children towards such session is captured and analyzed to see the impact. Objective is to make the model robust and implement for a longer time scale. This would also give as an idea on the operation cost involved and feasibility to implement.
What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?
We seek a mentor who can guide us tread this exciting path. May be a person or organization who can help us with the action plan of implementing these ideas. Also, we seek financial help for implementing for 3 months duration. As we are students and do not have the capacity for seed funding, we require funds even for testing the idea. The cost required can be estimated at a later stage. It would be great if we can tie up with a local NGO to leverage their competencies, for example, relationship with the people and understanding of the locality. If anyone is having a similar idea then we are also interested in working together to strengthen their idea and implementing.
Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?
Yes. I am looking for partners that might be interested in taking this idea forward in their communities.