Surabhi Bajpai - India
Nutri-Gardens: Community-led Nutrition Intervention
Nutri-Garden aims to mitigate to India’s looming contribution of malnutrition via a community-led ICT intervention platform. According to World Bank estimates, India faces the biggest threat of nutrition with one of every 5 children, malnourished, and susceptible to diseases and stunted growth. More than a third of the world’s malnourished children live in India. “Additionally, about 46% of children under the age of 3 in India are too small for their age.” The threat aims to malaise the population of this country, which aspires to be the next growing superpower.
Furthermore, successive governments have pursued various programs towards the issue but the problem still heavily persists. The solution mechanism of this problem is still largely driven by mass government schemes with heavy budget outlay, but the implementation mechanism is often lax due to administrative and bureaucratic hurdles. The current large-scale implementation of the scheme, allows for limited innovation and integration at the local level. Therefore, the aim of this project is to infuse community level engagement and to ensure participation at the local level.
Nutri-Gardens intend to create community-led Nutri-Gardens via an ICT-driven intervention tool to facilitate community led ownership towards the issue of malnutrition. Unfortunately, due to politically motivated schemes and large scale implementation the solution to these problems is perceived as a governance issue. The need for community-led Nutri-Gardens exists not only because malnutrition as an issue cannot be solved by the government alone, but also because the diversity and the variance among different regions of the country prevents the localization of this issue in its current form. Even though the issue receives significant government attention, their solutions are largely exhaustive and therefore, cannot be customized at local level. Therefore, our aim is to create community-led Nutri-Gardens to solve the macroscopic malaise of malnutrition currently plagiarizing the demographic dividend of India.
Since this is a community-led intervention, we aim to mobilize various stakeholders as a part of the governance structure of the intervention. Moreover, driven by the structure will also aim to create an accountability mechanism with engagement from local partners. Additionally, the intervention aims to create a gender balance, encouraging women engagement. The members of the community will be involved via the provision of the school management committees as per the right to information act. Our primary aim is to cater to the children and young mothers of the community. The intervention will also be supported by experts and practitioners of the field at various stages of the implementation process.
Modus Operandi for Implementation
The initial process of the intervention will be conducted by a feasibility mapping with the local partner to ensure localization of the solutions. Post the feasibility mapping to understand the existing nutrition levels of children and the engagement of the community with respect to the awareness about nourishment levels for children and adolescents. The pilot project will involve the creation of a women’s group to understand what locally desired objects can be sourced in order to meet the nutrition deficiency associated with the children and the adolescent population. The ICT intervention tool will be used in multiple ways such as an information and knowledge tool, budgeting tool and understanding the nutrition levels in the community.
Nutri-Gardens aim to be an innovative community-driven solution in this quest to achieve zero hunger and to leave no one behind as outlined by the 2030 Agenda for Development.