Parivartan Project

Parivartan Project 2017-01-08T14:08:03+00:00

Mobilizing Communities for Maternal and Child Health and Sanitation

Program Overview

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals for reducing child mortality and improving maternal health will take more than economic growth and improved access to health care services. It will also require mobilizing communities through participatory learning and collective action, especially through women’s groups. This is the focus of PCI’s Parivartan Project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Through the formation and empowerment of women’s groups, Parivartan (“transformation” in Hindi) is helping to increase the adoption of key maternal and child health and sanitation behaviors among women of reproductive age in the most marginalized communities in the state of Bihar – one of the poorest and least developed states of India. The key behaviors being promoted pertain to antenatal care, birth preparedness, postpartum and newborn care, exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding, immunization, family planning, and sanitation. In addition to promoting these healthy behaviors, Parivartan also seeks to improve access to health care services by facilitating linkages with front-line health care workers.

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals for reducing child mortality and improving maternal health will take more than economic growth and improved access to health care services. It will also require mobilizing communities through participatory learning and collective action, especially through women’s groups. This is the focus of PCI’s Parivartan Project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Through the formation and empowerment of women’s groups, Parivartan (“transformation” in Hindi) is helping to increase the adoption of key maternal and child health and sanitation behaviors among women of reproductive age in the most marginalized communities in the state of Bihar – one of the poorest and least developed states of India. The key behaviors being promoted pertain to antenatal care, birth preparedness, postpartum and newborn care, exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding, immunization, family planning, and sanitation. In addition to promoting these healthy behaviors, Parivartan also seeks to improve access to health care services by facilitating linkages with front-line health care workers.

Linking Health and Savings

A key feature of Parivartan is its collaboration with the state government’s Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project known as Jeevika. Jeevika helps to enhance the social and economic empowerment of the rural poor in Bihar through the creation of self- managed community microfinance institutions or self-help groups at the village level. PCI’s partnership with Jeevika has allowed for the women’s groups formed under Parivartan to be enrolled in the Jeevika program with its village savings component and access to loans. It has also allowed Parivartan to extend its health impact by introducing the maternal and child health messages to Jeevika savings groups. This linkage of health and savings through the partnership of Parivartan and Jeevika has been a real success story of the project and will help assure its long-term sustainability as the community groups formed under Parivartan will all transition to Jeevika and be supported beyond the lifespan of the Parivartan grant.

Parivartan Reach

Parivartan works in 55 blocks in 8 districts of Bihar and is reaching 275,000 women in reproductive age through over 18,000 community groups formed under the project. These groups are formed among women from the lowest castes in the community. An additional 150,000 women belonging to over 10,000 Jeevika-formed groups are being reached with health and sanitation interventions. Parivartan has also established a Health Technical Group, a technical support unit within Jeevika, to scale up health integration among Jeevika’s self-help groups across Bihar.

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