India Webinar Series Highlights Learnings From Implementation of Selected High-Impact Approaches

by | May 27, 2020

Contributor: Deepti Mathur

After more than three years of working with state and local governments in 31 cities of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha to scale proven family planning and adolescent and youth reproductive health interventions, The Challenge Initiative for Healthy Cities (TCIHC) hosted a webinar series every Wednesday in the month of May to share the key steps for implementing four proven approaches along with learnings for consideration in replicating and adapting them to other urban settings.

Between 100 to 220 Indian government stakeholders and other hub representatives joined the webinars to learn from TCIHC’s experience. A short recap is provided below for each high-impact approach that was presented during the webinar series.

MAY 6, 2020
In the Driver’s Seat: Frontline Health Workers leading the way in improving contraceptive use among young first-time parents (FTPs)

Key implementation steps:

  1. Make reaching young first-time parents, ages 15-24, your priority and repeatedly advocate with local government
  2. Identify one critical influencer and understand what motivates her/him; for TCIHC, the urban ASHA was the natural choice as she can coach other women and be available in the community to support them
  3. Define the behavior that you seek from the influencer and coach them accordingly. For example, make data more useful for ASHAs so that they can prioritize their household visits
  4. Monitor ASHA’s performance
  5. Link performance to existing health system schemes and recognition
What have we learned?
  • Demonstration is key to influence growth mindset and scale up
  • Mentoring and coaching require human interface
  • Family planning interventions strengthen overall service delivery and quality
  • Prioritizing first-time parents is key because they are in highest need for family planning
  • Creating coaches within the system is important for sustainability
  • Estimating denominator for family planning non-users is key for sustained scale up 

View the webinar | Learn more about TCIHC’s urban ASHA approach.

MAY 13, 2020
Towards a Mindset shift: Specific male engagement strategy increases male participation in family planning

Key implementation steps:

  1. Local ownership is a must to initiate this approach: Introduce the programmatic framework to local government and make sure that they lead implementation from the beginning
  2. Identify coaches within the system – the role played by a coach has to be transitioned to frontline health workers – and build their capacity to address myths associated with vasectomy and engage men where they gather
  3. Focus on busting myths around male family planning methods among male groups
  4. Form city/district level monitoring and review mechanism
  5. Establish reward and recognition mechanism for ASHAs
  6. Promote satisfied non-scalpel vasectomy clients as family planning champions among the community
  7. Make sure the approach is budgeted for in the annual Program Implementation Plan (PIP) of the National Health Mission.
What have we learned?
  • The male engagement approach is not a one-off activity; it requires long-term engagement and coordinated efforts.
  • Providers may have certain expectations and biases about men and their role in family planning, so these need to be addressed.
  • Men tend to get reproductive health information from their peers, leveraging networks that may exist for men prove supportive to bring about behavior change.
  • The approach has the potential to improve all methods as men are key decision-makers in most Indian urban families.
  • It is essential to start early by reaching adolescent boys, young men and their influencers (i.e., parents) with health programming to cultivate equitable attitudes, norms and behaviors.

View the webinar | Learn more about TCIHC’s male engagement approach.

May 20 2020
Know the Pulse of Your Initiative: Strategies for effective data-based decision-making to inform and improve urban family planning program in India

Key implementation steps:

  1. Coach key stakeholders to list out its the decisions that must be made to increase family planning uptake among the urban poor 
  2. Map existing data sources to inform the program design
  3. Employ data analysis for actionable insights
  4. Develop specific action plans with timelines that should be circulated to city officials
  5. Share and discuss analysis of various data points with district officials at city
  6. Take course correction and identify coaching needs
What have we learned?
  • Regular review and sharing of data with the local government enables the data for decision-making (D4D) process
  • Customized data sharing templates and a framework tool that links data to action also make the process easier
  • Creating coaches within the system, such as data clerk and HMIS officers, makes D4D sustainable
  • Data sharing practices effect positive changes
  • Demonstration of data through the project management information system actually strengthens the HMIS

View the webinar | Learn more about TCIHC’s D4D approach.

MAY 27, 2020
Leading to Change Management: Ensuring quality in family planning service delivery

Key implementation steps:

  1. Periodic assessment to monitor quality at the facility level through a checklist based on National Quality Assurance Family Planning standards
  2. Generation of score card to make data points visible and facilitate decision-making at various levels
  3. Gap finding and action plan to support UPHCs to take action and improve upon areas requiring correction
  4. Formation of facility-level quality improvement committee as a step towards self-reliance to conduct assessments and analyze data on their own
  5. Certification of the facility by district quality assurance committee
What have we learned?
  • Need a champion for the quality assurance process: Leadership buy-in is crucial
  • Focus on the process: Assess-Analyze-Action
  • Clear, concise communication is essential during quality improvement meetings
  • Invest time and resource in proper training of staff for them to conduct assessments
  • Transparency and reporting are critical

View the webinar | Learn more about TCIHC’s quality assurance approach.