Spring/Digital Green Collaboration and Feasibility Study: A Report on the Key Findings of the Formative Research Conducted at the Initiation of the Project in 2012
SPRING is working in India in collaboration with Digital Green, a U.S.- and India-based organization, across 30 villages in the Keonjhar district of Odisha state. They are adapting Digital Green’s innovative community media model to address nutrition in the first 1,000 days, reaching new audiences through mobile video screenings and facilitated discussions, with adoption of key behaviors verified through home visits. In November 2012, SPRING and Digital Green completed a qualitative study in selected villages to identify current social and cultural determinants, practices, and knowledge on maternal, infant, and young child nutrition (MIYCN). The information was collected to help guide the development of community-based videos promoting optimal nutrition practices to improve the nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women and young children. Many factors affect optimal MIYCN in the studied district, underscoring the fact that improving these practices goes far beyond increasing knowledge, but includes, among others, limited agency by women on when to eat, how much to eat, or when to rest, due in part to the traditional gender-related social norms; issues related to the family organizational structures; traditional practices and food taboos dictating what women can eat while they are breastfeeding; and a strongly held belief that iron–folic acid (IFA) supplements, if taken during pregnancy, lead to bigger babies, with negative consequences.
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