We initiated the village micro-planning activity in 2004 in Dolkhamb
and Kinhavali PHCs with funding support from UNFPA under its Integrated
Development Project of 18 months. It was launched again as AMCHI in 2007 with
funding from Mahindra & Mahindra and HDFC. Till date 66 villages across
5 PHCs are covered under AMCHI.
Village Micro-planning Process is at the heart of the AMCHI Initiative, which
empowers the community to assess its current socio-economic development status,
analyze the factors responsible for it, and work towards developing an action
plan to address the issues through community participation and alliance building
with Government and other agencies.
Village Micro-planning is
an intensive 5-day process, which is carried out after getting the buy-in from
the government departments and the village community. It starts with a Mashal
Dindi (a torch march) by children to bring the village community together and
ends with the gram sabha on the fifth day where the issues needing attention
are prioritized and an action plan is developed to address the same. A number
of participatory exercises and group activities are undertaken to help the
community analyze its current social development status. These include: Village
Walk, Village Mapping Exercises, Chappati Diagram, focused group discussions
with various stake holder groups, seasonality charts, public weighing of Anganwadi
children, house to house survey etc.
All these activities help highlight and strengthen:
- The role of village level service providers in ensuring quality services
- Entitlements of the people under the various schemes of the government
- The role and responsibility of the village level monitoring committees
- The changing social development scenario in the village and the need to bring change in a planned and systematic fashion
- The role of the village community in working in tandem with the government service providers
- The youth and women’s groups and their role in social development initiatives
Micro-planning is a ‘bottom-up’ approach for community development undertaken by the community with AMCHI’s support.
The 4 A’s of Microplanning:
- Assessment by the community of health and education standards, water availability, and sanitation
- Analysis of causes and possible solutions
- Action to address the selected issues
- Association with agencies like the local government, NGO and corporation
Some of the activities conducted in the micro-planning are as follows.
AMCHI provides inputs to the community on the correct implementation of the action plan. Most of the inputs are provided through training and workshops on topics like Government Schemes, Panchayati Raj Institutions, roles and responsibilities of service providers viz., school teacher, ANM (Auxiliary Nurse & Midwife), Gram Sevak as well as the village level committees -, School management committee, Health and Sanitation committee. Information on care of pregnant women, nursing mothers and children in the age group of 0-6 years, reproductive and sexual health and personal hygiene are also provided by AMCHI.
The micro-planning process often leads to issues other than health as a priority for the villagers, such as quality of water, state of the school building, quality of teaching or implementation of the mid-day meal scheme in the Anganwadi centres. Though we try to keep our focus on health, it often becomes more of a village development programme, which is as it should be, because health cannot be pursued as a goal independent of overall development.
We measure our success by the emergence of local leadership and the revitalization of the local institutions. Only then are the action plans owned and pursued by the community on a sustainable basis.
We have been working in the villages since October 2006 and are proud to say that there has been a tremendous impact - measured quantitatively through decrease in malnutrition, increase in institutional deliveries and attendance in Anganwadis and schools and qualitatively through the community demanding services and accountability from authorities.Click here
to read about a few success stories