Case study is adapted from Ritika Pandey’s presentation at The Curve Summit October 2019. Ritika was previously Project Director at Digital Green, and is now Associate Director at IPE Global LTD.
Key learning question:
USAID‐funded Project Samvad empowers rural communities to produce short videos exchanging good practices in agriculture, nutrition, health, and family planning.
The project team wanted to understand how to increase mothers of children aged between 0-2 years exposure to maternal and child health messaging across 6 Indian states.
How did the program harness responsive feedback?
The implementing partners and platforms for dissemination differed at each state. For example, in State X the program partnered with the State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) to disseminate messages through Self-Help Groups (SHGs). State Y also disseminated messages through SHGs, but in addition partnered with the National Health Mission so that ASHAs and anganwadi workers (AWWs) acted as messengers.
In order to track which implementation approach was proving the most effective, the program conducted state-level lean surveys on a quarterly basis in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Centre for Media Studies to monitor and evaluate mothers’ exposure to community videos.
Following the results of each lean survey, the project team brought together M&E teams and program implementation teams in workshops to discuss findings and implementation barriers. As a result, they devised strategies and new partnerships that aimed to increase mothers’ exposure to messaging. The team then evaluated the effectiveness of this new strategy following the results of the subsequent lean survey.
For example, following the results of the lean survey at Q3, State X used new dissemination platforms in addition to the SHGs which increased message exposure to 42% by Q4.
In the span of 3 years, the project reached 600,000 mothers across the 6 states. In one state, mothers’ exposure to key messages increased consistently across the span of a year from 30% to 53%.
- Discuss data findings with implementation teams, not just research teams
Implementation teams can provide front-line insights as to why the data is saying what it is that may not be available to research teams. This can be crucial in finding solutions to performance dips. For example, in State X the implementation team was able to explain that the dip in performance at round 3 occurred because the projectors being used to disseminate messages were defunct and needed replacing.
- Feedback should be project-focused, not person-focused
When evaluating data with implementation teams, frame the discussion around how best to improve the program, rather than this being an evaluation of their performance. Doing the former may be disincentivizing.
- Disseminate findings with partners across all levels
The program shared their findings with FLWs as well as SRHMs to increase accountability and transparency.
Photo credit: Digital Green