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United State Agency for International Development (USAID) program in Pakur and Deoghar

Poor performance in the health sector has led to the adoption of Communication for Change (C-Change), a flagship programme of United State Agency for International Development (USAID), in Pakur and Deoghar districts of the state.


Based on the report of National Family Health Survey, the pilot project will be implemented in Jharkhand by a non-government organisation, New Concepts. The C-Change programme in the state will focus on youth health and fertility.


Speaking about the C-Change programme, consultant of New Concepts Richa Chaudhary said: "It aims at improving the effectiveness and sustainability of communication for behavioural and social change. These are integral to development in the sectors of health, environment and civil society."


The C-Change programme works with global and regional partners in developing and educating countries with different approaches. In India, System-wide Collaborative Association for Livelihood and Environment (SCALE) approach has been adopted for implementation of these programmes.


The SCALE approach starts with bringing different stakeholders including, individual, organisations, corporate houses and institutions, together on a common platform. Then the officials associated with the programme will ask the stakeholders on how to address the issues to bring about a change. Based on the suggestions steps will be taken.


This method helps in strengthening communication among stakeholders to create a network of interconnected interests and actions. The stakeholders in turn communicate and consult to implement several methodology to stimulate and achieve the desired goal.


According to Chaudhary, the understanding of health and fertility among youths may help reduce the risk of adverse results such as maternal, newborn and infant deaths, premature birth, low-birth weight and miscarriage.


"Our aim is to increase and strengthen organisational networks throughout the state, bring about changes in social norms supporting youth health and fertility such as delay in marriage, girls' education, delay of first child and spacing between children," said Chaudhary.


She maintained that SCALE would also aim at improving the health and fertility knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of the people.


© The Telegraph / July 11, 2009


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