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Memorandum of Cooperation to be signed between Ministry of Women & Child Development and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the signing of Memorandum of Co-operation (MoC) between Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) for the cooperation in Information and Communication Technology enabled Real Time Monitoring (ICT-RTM) of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and other related technical matters.

The MoC would help in:

a. Implementation of ICT-RTM of ICDS which will enable the authorities for timely intervention for ensuring proper service delivery.

b. Putting up in place a shared national communication campaign, communications strategy and guidelines, customizing communications, products and material to local contexts alongwith developing plans for large scale dissemination.

c. Technical support through high quality technical teams of nutrition experts.

The phase-I of ISSNIP will roll out ICT-RTM through one Lakh Anganwadi Centers (AWCs) in 162 high burden districts of eight participating States. Children of 0-6 years age, pregnant women and Lactating Mothers being the ultimate beneficiaries.

The MoC would cover 162 high malnutrition burden districts of eight States namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtrta, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The Foundation would provide:

i. Technical support at the national and state level for strengthening their capacities to deliver nutrition especially during pre-conception, pregnancy and first two years of life,

ii. Funding to applicable organisation that meet eligibility criteria as will be mutually agreed upon by the Foundation and MWCD from time to time to provide support and technical assistance for designing, development of Common Application Software (CAS) to drive the Information and Communication Technology enabled Real Time Monitoring (ICT-RTM) of ICDS Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP) and Support System and

iii. Support to MWCD in developing a shared national communication campaign for maternal and child nutrition for roll out among target population.

The MoC will facilitate the development of CAS for ICT-RTM, training of trainers and other technical matters. ICT-RTM and other components will be rolled out in phased manner. This also includes provisions of software support (L-3 level) for a period of five years and support for the roll-out of the CAS driver ICT-RTM of ICDS in priority districts within ISSNIP States through provision of trainers who will train MWCD trainers. The MWCD trainers will in turn be responsible for training the Angan Wadi Workers (AWWs) and local Supervisors in using and adopting the ICT solution.

There is no financial implication on the part of Ministry of Women & Child Development on entering into MoC with BMGF. The Common Application Software (CAS) will be developed by the BMGF with support of their partners and would be made available to the Ministry free of cost along with its ‘Source Code’ for hosting by MWCD with NIC. Similarly, there would be no financial implications on the part of MWCD for L-3 support, training of Master Trainers and for developing national level communications strategy and guidelines as well as communications and media products, which will be developed by the Foundation.

Background:-

MWCD is implementing International Development Association (IDA) assisted ISSNIP in 162 high burden districts of eight States in the country. Phase-I of the ISSNIP which was scheduled to be concluded on 31.12.2015, has since been restructured with modification in activities and extension of time-frame by two years, i.e. up to 30.12.2017. The Amended and Restated Financing Agreement has been signed between Department of Economic Affairs and IDA in September, 2015. Necessary approval on the restructured ISSNIP has also been obtained from Department of Expenditure. Considering the importance of ICT as an effective tool in improving the service quality of ICDS, the restructured ISSNIP includes Information and Communication Technology enabled Real Time Monitoring (ICT-RTM) as a core activity.