Comprehensive digital repository of nutrition advice for behavioural change to combat malnutrition
NITI Aayog, the premier policy thinktank of the Government of
India, has launched an ambitious initiative to combat malnutrition in the
country. Named Poshan Gyan, the initiative involves creation of a
national digital repository on health and nutrition.
NITI Ayog has launched the
initiative in partnership with the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation and Centre
for Social and Behaviour Change at the Ashoka
University. Described by Dr.
Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Ayog, as ‘a landmark moment’, Poshan Gyan
seeks to address a major contradiction in Indian society—persistence of high
levels of malnutrition among the population despite India being a food-surplus
Said Dr. Raji Kumar, “Real
change can be brought about only by changing behaviours on the ground. High
malnutrition persists despite India being a food-surplus nation, which points
towards a clear need for behavioural change. With this context in mind, Poshan
Gyan is an extremely important initiative, and can help make nutrition a Jan
Andolan, as envisioned by our Prime Minister”.
Speaking on the occasion, Amitabh
Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, said the challenge of malnutrition “should be solved by
targeting vulnerable sections, such as pregnant women, lactating mothers and
children below the age of 6 years by transmitting behavioural insights. The strategy
can also be used to influence behaviours on breastfeeding, immunization, and
The Poshan Gyan
repository has been conceptualized as a resource base with communication
materials on 14 thematic areas of health and nutrition across diverse
languages, media types, target audiences and sources. Content for the
repository was sourced from the Ministries of Health and Family Welfare and
Women and Child Development and developmental organizations.
The website provides an
intuitive interface with features such as multi-parametric search, multiple
downloads at a point in time, easy sharing of materials via social media and
easy viewing on any type of smartphone. The repository introduces a unique
crowdsourcing feature that allows anyone to submit communication material for
inclusion on the website, followed by a review by a designated committee.
The portal will have a “Theme
of the Month” in line with MoHFW and MoWCD guidelines to promote key topics and
the “Most Downloaded Media” as a way to learn about the materials that are most
preferred by audiences. It also provides links to other important sites and
resources, such as the webpages of MoHFW, MoWCD, NITI Aayog, AnemiaMukt Bharat,
EatRightIndia, among others.
Ram Mohan Mishra, Secretary,
MoWCD, pointed out that the crowdsourcing feature of the site can be used to
disseminate nationwide solutions that have proved successful in local contexts,
such as the use of a traditional grape-based concoction that was recently found
to be efficacious in combating anaemia in Tamil Nadu.