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Research Projects Ongoing

Gender Rights in Adolescent Friendly Health Services (AFHS): Policy and Practice in a Government Programme in West Bengal State of India

Agency: World Health Organization, Geneva

Team: Manasee Mishra, Nutan Jain, Saheli Manish Kumar, Moumita Saha (Consultant)

The study aims to develop a case study on the Adolescent Friendly Health Services (AFHS) in West Bengal. It critically analyses the state mandated AFHS intervention using human rights principles and a gender sensitive approach. Nine human rights principles have been used for the purpose. These are: non-discrimination, availability, accessibility, acceptability, quality of health services, informed decision making about own health, privacy and confidentiality, participation in health policy and service decision making, transparency and accountability. Qualitative research methodology has been adopted for the study. Both secondary and primary data will be used. A sample of urban and rural sites in the state will be visited. The study is among a group of case studies from across the world expected to inform programme strategies of WHO in the future.

Climate Change, Uncertainty and Transformation

Agency: Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

Team: Manasee Mishra, Upasona Ghosh, Rittika Brahmachari, Sabyasachi Mandal (Research Assistant)

Climate shocks and stressors, such as cyclones, floods and droughts, changing rainfall patterns and glacial movements, as well as the unexpected spread of vector borne diseases are some examples of uncertainties that planners, resource managers and local people in the global South are regularly confronted with it. At present, however, theorizing about uncertainty from ‘above’ by experts, natural scientists and modellers may have very little to do with how men and women (poor or rich, urban or rural, especially in the global South) live with, understand and cope with uncertainty in everyday settings. This in turn hampers efforts to support adaptation. It is important to bridge the divide between uncertainties from ‘above’ and ‘below’ which may result in new or hybrid perspectives that could form the foundation for transformative pathways to adapt to climate change. The study is multi-centric, being located in a megacity (Mumbai), dry land Kutch, and the Sundarbans in West Bengal. The localities offer ecological contrasts, rural-urban/peri-urban diversity, exposure to different climate shocks, and varied state and official responses. IIHMR University undertakes the study in partnership with national and international institutes.

Utilization Patterns and Reasons in Disadvantaged Communities: A Study of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) in West Bengal

Agency: CARITAS India - Poorest Areas Civil Society Programme (PACS)

Team: Manasee Mishra, Arnab Mandal, Saheli Manish Kumar

This study seeks to understand the major patterns in the utilization of RSBY scheme and reasons thereof in the five PACS intervention districts of West Bengal. The focus is on understanding the differencing uptake of the mandated services among various socio-economically backward communities. Behaviour changes in the beneficiaries due to the introduction and active advancement of RSBY scheme are captured. Factors facilitating/ hindering the access to RSBY mandated services are explored. The study suggests specific inputs for advancement of the advocacy agenda of PACS with special reference to facilitation, coordination, the use of various communication channels and the quality of messaging therein.

End Term Evaluation of “Creating Brighter Futures of Children in India’s Brick Kilns” Project Interventions in North 24 Parganas and Malda Districts of West Bengal

Agency: Save the Children, West Bengal

Team: Veena Nair Sarkar, Saheli Manish Kumar

The study seeks to understand the overall practices related to health and education at the brick kiln community and the system level. The empirical research examines the changes that have taken place and analyses the various systems contributing to or inhibiting the right to education, health and protection of vulnerable children engaged in the 70 brick kilns. The mixed methods research study focuses on the coverage of vulnerable groups in the operational areas of project.  It analyses the community, local government systems, processes and frameworks of project that can contribute or inhibit service provision. This study assesses the progress and results of project interventions, which include the project design (strategic approach), its implementation, management and monitoring level.

Uncertainty from Below

Agency: Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, U.K.

Team: Upasona Ghosh, Shibaji Bose (Consultant), Rittika Brahmachari, Sujan Sarkar (Research Assistant)

Global warming has brought about irreversible changes in the climate and environmental systems around the globe. This climate induced ‘uncertainty’ has usually been experienced by different people in different ways. It has been theorized from ‘above’ by experts, natural scientists and policy makers. But that may have very little to do with how men and women experience, understand and cope with uncertainty in their daily lives. The aim of this project is to bridge the gap in the perception of the people who theorize climate change from ‘above’, and those who experience it from ‘below’. This gap is bridged through advocacy and communication by ‘middle’ level stakeholders through dialogue. The project chooses three sites in India with distinctive features and challenges with regard to climate change: the Sundarbans in West Bengal (wet land), Kutch in Gujarat (dry land), and Delhi and Mumbai (urban India). IIHMR University is the partner for doing this research in the Sundarbans to explore how different people experience climate related changes and challenges, their adaptation and resilience in terms of health and livelihood, and the overall debate on development in the specific context of climatically challenged areas such as the Sundarbans.

Multi Sectoral Action Plan on Nutrition

Agency: UNICEF- Government of West Bengal

Team: Manasee Mishra, Debjani Barman, Saheli Manish Kumar

Nutrition is multidimensional and needs a multipronged approach. An action plan to combat the problem of under-nutrition in West Bengal is being developed under the aegis of the Government of West Bengal. UNICEF (West Bengal office) facilitates the initiative. The action plan brings together a number of agencies to offer contextualized and evidence-informed solutions to the problem of under-nutrition among women, children and adolescents in West Bengal. The solutions include nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive interventions spanning various thematic domains such as health, water and sanitation, and governance.