"Love to work with children, for the children and by the children."
I am a social scientist working in the development sector for last 16 years. I have done my PhD in social anthropology and led many programmes on child, adolescent and maternal health and nutrition as well as participatory governance and community partnerships. Currently I am working as Assistant Director in Child in Need Institute [CINI], a leading national level NGO in India contributing to the child protection, education, and health and nutrition sector and leading programmes on adolescents and young populations’ rights and entitlements with focus on sexual and reproductive health rights.
Product or service: GPower is an innovative solution aims at incubating and developing an innovative IT Enabled system [ITEs] for tracking the vulnerabilities of adolescent girls, planning to mitigate, measuring timely actions, monitoring & assessing impact especially on the issues of early marriage & trafficking. Various national programs such as National Health Mission, SABLA, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyaan & Integrated Child Protection Scheme are impeded in their efforts due to a lack of synergy in their operations. Moreover there are multiple programs with overlapping objectives targeted at the same set of beneficiaries. GPower addresses some of these problems of implementation faced by national development programs targeted at the girl child including - 1] Lack of convergence of program implementation at the beneficiary level 2] Inefficient use of funds & human resources 3] Absence of uniform strategy guiding the development programs 4] Absence of uniform tracking mechanism to prevent the vulnerabilities It is uniquely designed, with technology support from Accenture technology Services Company & CINI to address these challenges (given above) through innovative use of mobile, analytics and cloud technologies. It not only enables more efficient & effective data collection, but also allows real-time data analysis & tracking of service delivery. GPower offers solutions that revamp the data collection process by: 1. Empowering CINI community facilitators (CFs) to “register” beneficiaries on the go through a mobile device. 2. Facilitating tracking of pre-set indicators that in turn allows real-time alerts to be generated if any vulnerability is detected. 3. Allowing the CFs to raise a grievance. 4. Enabling timely local reminders to track vulnerabilities of adolescent girls [10-19 years] & follow-up GPower helps improve & potentially transform the lives of these adolescent girls at risk. The software is placing the girls in red-most vulnerable, yellow-moderately vulnerable or green- safe zones through pre-set indicators. By tracking the vulnerabilities of adolescent girls in real time, GPower identifies potentially vulnerable girls ahead of time, triggers & simplifies the girls access to flagship government services for improving their well- being across four pillars, education, protection, health & nutrition. It enables immediate action to save girls from risks such as dropping out of school, child marriage, child labor & trafficking. GPower is committed to solve the humanitarian challenges related to education, protection, health & nutrition issues & access to those services. Apart from data collection & instant action taken process, this project is empowering adolescent girls by building their capacity on vulnerabilities identification, how to cope with the vulnerabilities, counselling as per need & also linking the vulnerable girls with the services available for them. On the other hand, the project is sensitizing the parents & community, building their capacity on how to address girls’ protection issues, like child marriage, child trafficking jointly with Panchayat & service providers & how to create an enabling environment in the community which is safe for the girls. The girls find the solution through CINI & Government service providers. This time offline and online information service will be integrated into the program. Through linking the vulnerable girls in real time with the respective services is reducing the vulnerabilities of the girls, like child marriage, teen pregnancy, trafficking, which is creating better SRH outcomes for the adolescents in the area. Yes, this time mHealth component will be integrated. Financial Sustainability Accenture has supported through developing the software, which needs to be upgraded to focus more on SRHR. GPower won the M4G Award of Vodafone Foundation, through which could run the activities upto Sep’17. Now CINI is running through its own cost. But to make sustainable, its need fund for at least 2 more years. If this will succeed, CINI will advocate with Government to scale up this cost-effective, community-based model through Government system and structure Human-centred design Yes, GPower has 2 components, one is the software & the other is the community development & engagement process. Parents, local self-government, service providers are very much involved in the process & to mitigate the vulnerabilities, like child marriage or trafficking, they are the main action-takers, CINI is playing only the facilitation role. For that GPower is building capacity of adolescents girls on one hand & involving parents & other stakeholders through meetings, sensitization & training activities on the other hand to create adolescent-friendly environment in the community for better access to SRH services.