There are a variety of programs and areas of expertise reflected in PCI’s work around the world that do not fall into one of its core intervention areas. This does not mean that these efforts are any less important or central to PCI’s mission. They reflect cross-cutting methods and results or innovations that have yet to find a significant funding constituency.
For example, PCI utilizes a gender perspective or lens in every program. This involves understanding how gender roles impact a wide variety of outcomes and how we can work with and through these issues, using a gender lens, for greatest overall impact. For example, there are some health and nutrition issues or risks that disproportionately affect girls and women but there are others that disproportionately negatively affect men. We work to understand the gender dynamics at work, such as that while women are the typical target for health outreach, education and counseling, it is the men who typically make the decisions about investment of resources. Not only must we focus on male involvement, engagement and change, we should also focus on joint (men and women) efforts such as helping households and communities work towards joint decision making about investment and management of household/community resources (transport, health care costs, education, etc.)
Gender based violence has a terrible impact on the physical, mental, emotional sexual and reproductive health of women and it has multiple negative outcomes due to the powerlessness, stigma/shame and fatalistic attitudes that come with GBV. Efforts to understand what is keeping violence against women alive (qualitative and quantitative) are critical. What are the social norms and what are the behaviors? Are they in line with each other or is there a disconnect? Comprehensive approaches are required to: Change the way men view themselves and the world (through a focus on boys and girls in school); Provide women with more power and self esteem-efficacy and a sense that they do have choices; and change the way society responds when it sees or hears violence — rather than look the other way, to get involved and do something to break the cycle of violence.
Another area of particular interest for PCI is urban health, finding ways to bring our experience working in rural areas to bear on tackling what are often very similar vulnerabilities and challenges in urban slums. Our work in Pune, India under the Surestart Program is an example where we are focusing on empowering groups of mothers to advocate for quality health services, forming a coalition of mothers and health professionals working collaboratively at the city level. Working on polio eradication in challenging cities in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar is another example where PCI is addressing the unique challenges and opportunities for change in the urban environment. In this case, working closely with Muslim leaders to overcome resistance to immunization campaigns.