POSHAN Releases Paper on Bhavishya Alliance’s Experience to Ovecome Child Undernutrition in India

POSHAN has released a short paper looking at the Bhavishya Alliance, a partnership among Hindustan Unilever, UNICEF, Indian government, business and civil society organizations, and Synergos to create and test new approaches to overcoming child undernutrition in Maharashtra, India.

The paper summarizes how the Bhavishya Alliance, which operated from 2006 to 2012, was created and worked. It also lays out lessons for other development actors, including:

  • Rather than taking on the role of government, model the potential for its role
  • Ensure authentic involvement of community and nongovernmental organizations
  • Maintain continuity of key personnel and contributing team members
  • Prototype the viability of interventions to gain insights into the challenges of implementation.

The paper was written by Synergos’ Surita Sandosham, Ishaprasad Bhagwat of Save the Children and V. Ramani of Access Advisory, who state that:s

“By working together, the alliance’s partners and staff were exposed to new approaches, knowledge areas, and skill sets that built their capacity and led to innovative solutions that greatly enhanced project outcomes. The Bhavishya Alliance’s approach has been successfully adopted by some partners, who have established new and more effective ways of working directly with government and other stakeholders in initiatives beyond the alliance.

For example, Hindustan Unilever collaborated with the Government of Bihar on a hand-washing campaign. Partners like the Nutrition Mission and UNICEF continued their relationship, and used the model of the Bhavishya Alliance to form the Maharashtra Nutrition Alliance. The experience also gave the Government of Maharashtra confidence to engage with private-sector partners in furthering the agenda of reducing malnutrition.”

The paper draws upon a research project by New York University graduate students, including Katherine Potaski who is now on Synergos’ staff, for a class taught by David Winder, a former Director of Programs at Synergos.

POSHAN (Partnerships and Opportunities to Strengthen and Harmonize Actions for Nutrition in India) is led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in collaboration with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). It is generously supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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