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calcutta kids

calcutta kids

Preventing malnutrition, empowering the underserved

Calcutta Kids is a not-for-profit public health organization committed to the health/nutrition and empowerment of underserved women and children in Howrah's slum area of Fakir Bagan. Calcutta Kids tracks and provides immunizations and access to doctors and medicines, monitors weight and height, while continuously providing behaviour change communication through regular home visits to promote good diet and health practices of pregnant women and children up to the age of three. They provide extensive preventative care, carried out by locally trained Community Health Workers (CHW’s).

Calcutta Kids believes in evidence-based development work, and each of their programs is striving toward clear objectives. These objectives are continuously monitored and evaluated through an online management information system. Their ultimate vision is to create a proven model of health care delivery worthy of replication.

Calcutta Kids had an old system that was not efficient to successfully fulfill their goal of evidence-based monitoring and encouraging of positive health-changing behaviours. The system was unreliable and inflexible. It led to a lot of manual tracking, wasting resources by diverting attention to mundane, low priority data entry tasks. They wanted a new system that would provide data security, reliability, proper tracking of immunization and child growth, and have the ability to present their research and data in order to influence policy changes. 

“In order for maternal and child health and nutrition development to be successful, it’s imperative that we move away from exclusively looking at qualitative stories to define success and move toward quantitative analysis. Quantitative analysis helps us pinpoint our intervention deficiencies and inspires us to create solutions for those deficiencies."
- Noah Levinson, Co-Founder Calcutta Kids

In August 2013, Calcutta Kids partnered with ThoughtWorks to build a new web-based application - replacing the old system, and equipping it with enhanced features and functionalities.

Calcutta Kids uses an established monitoring and evaluation process to analyse their data - measuring growth and socio-economic factors to ensure that the beneficiaries do not succumb to malnourishment. The new application augments their process and helps them deliver their behavioral change programs.

Through a series of interviews with the data entry operators, health workers and beneficiaries - the application was built to align closely with the end user requirements. Feature showcases were organized in the field for CHW'S, and data entry operators were trained in Hindi.

The application has enabled Calcutta Kids to develop growth curves for beneficiaries, generate task lists for CHW’s, and provide offline support for growth measurements and immunizations. They have also been able to generate filtered reports in order to keep an eye on children who are lagging behind in growth, allowing intervention at an earlier stage. 

The Calcutta Kids and ThoughtWorks collaboration building MYCHI has resulted in an accessible tool for field implementers. The tool analyzes data and focuses on those beneficiaries falling through the cracks of the system. This focus naturally leads to curiosity and solution creation.”