A field experience – ICDP project in Dungarpur, Rajasthan
In 2016, ICDP has started to cooperate with Save the Children India. ICDP was identified as a suitable initiative to enhance caregiver skills as part of the Child Sensitive Social Protection project in the Dungarpur disctrict, India.
Based on the realisation that social protection can be a key thematic area to reduce child poverty, Save the Children Finland has developed projects referred to as Child Sensitive Social Protection (CSSP) in a range of countries together with the local Save the Children offices.
CSSP encompasses child-focused or family-based social programmes that directly or indirectly address children’s needs and rights through a combination of economic support – such as cash transfers to families and children living in poverty – and complementary interventions; and which improve child development as well as ensure that all social protection is child-sensitive, by maximising impacts and minimising harms on children, girls and boys alike.
In the Dungarpur district, SC Finland has been funding a CSSP project since 2011. One of the key interventions of the project is based around developing improved parenting skills with families that receive a government cash transfer for taking care of orphaned children. Based on the understanding that complementary interventions to social protection will ensure better results on child development outcomes, a crucial part of CSSP is to promote improved care by introducing parenting programmes as a complement to economic interventions – this is reflected in the new cooperation with ICDP on the Dunagarpur project.
An ICDP visit by Nicoletta Armstrong took place in January and April 2017, which started the training in the ICDP programme of 12 Save the Children staff members. The key objective is to use the ICDP programme as the cornerstone for Palanhar Plus (caregiver plus initiative) but also as a base for work with Self Help Groups engaged in a community health insurance programme as well as parents receiving other social protection schemes. The ICDP training continued throughout 2017. The ultimate goal is to take ICDP forward in Dungarpur as well as beyond.
ICDP developed in India thanks to the dedicated work of Professor Karl-Peter Hubbertz, a psychologist and social worker with twenty years experience of working in different counselling centres and child-guidance clinics in Germany. He is also a member of Indienhilfe who support the work of several local organizations in West-Bengal. In 2004, ICDP started to develop through the connection with Indienhilfe.
In 2004 and 2005, ICDP workshops were held in Athgara and Malda. Participants were social workers, teachers, health workers, medical doctors and other professionals working in child development-centres, children’s homes, schools, health education or with self-help-groups of mothers. After the initial training all participants wanted to continue with ICDP. “After 12 years teaching in school I realized that I can see and understand every child as a special and particular person!” – This statement comes from one of the teachers in the Centre for Child Workers of Rural Health Development Centre (RHDC) in Malda, who are working with children from poor families. It is one example of the positive feedback and motivation which was aroused during workshops on ICDP in Malda.
In February 2005 a week long seminar on ICDP was held for professionals from different NGOs who were sponsored by and were cooperating with Indienhilfe. Participants were introduced to the structured ICDP prgramme for working with groups of parents and other caregivers. In September 2005 there was a follow-up seminar for the same group, supervising the work of the participants and reflecting their practical experiences with ICDP.
During 2006, Karl-Peter Hubbertz held two more ICDP courses, in Athgara and Malda and in West Bengal.Due to very good responses, field workers from six organizations implemented the programme in practice with different groups of families and children. Their work was evaluated at a subsequent training seminar. Two regional ICDP-groups of promoters were established to meet on regular basis: the “north-group” and the “south-group”. The German organisation “Indienhilfe” sponsored each ICDP group with funds that covered the costs of materials and other expenses.
In 2007, ICDP teams were formed in several local organizations, and they implemented ICDP independently. At the evaluation sessions, good results were reported from the work with families and children .
During 2008 a new group of 16 social workers received ICDP training in Seva Kendra Kharagpur. They developed several ICDP projects with groups of parents and other caregivers in the region of Kharagpur and Midnapur. In Seva Kendra Culcatta there were refresher workshops for trained groups, and they shared interesting experiences, gave each other very supportive feedback, developing new ideas and establishing future plans. Bablu Sarkar’s idea to produce a film about ICDP was greeted enthusiastically. A plan was made to record interactions between Bengali parents and their children and also to film interactions in tribal families. It was decided to continue with the translation of the ICDP programme into Bengali which had been initiated earlier by Debashish and Aparna. Mrs. Maria Chatterjee was to translate the ICDP 8 guidelines booklet called “I’m a person too!” for direct use by parents. All participants expressed their wishes and intentions to continue with the ICDP work in the future.
During 2009 the focus was on consolidating and evaluating. The following organizations that apply ICDP in different locations were involved in the evaluation: Manab Jamin (SEVA); Vikas Kendra (SEVA); Bikash/ Bankura; Seva Kendra Kharagpur; Namasole Palli Mangal Samity; Lake Gardens/ Kolkata. Evaluation discussions took place with ICDP facilitators, with individual mothers and with different parent groups, which revealed that parents who attend ICDP meetings show more loving attention, empathy and sensitivity for their children. They are more patient, considerate and more aware of the way they bring up their children. Physical punishment of children has considerably been reduced or stopped altogether and as result children have become more cooperative, emotionally more balanced and happier.
From an update by Karl-Peter Hubbertz in 2010: “My colleague Maria Chatterjee is coordinating the work of ICDP on the ground. During 2010 she went on several field visits, including to Kharagpur. Kharagpur is one of the more distant regions of West Bengal where last year Maria and I conducted together an ICDP workshop. Maria continued supervising the process of training of the workshop participants who came from many different villages; eventually they started to implement ICDP in practice by running their own ICDP groups with local caregivers. Their ICDP work with caregivers and families has demonstrated very good results. I am very happy that ICDP managed to develop even in this very remote and difficult area. Maria will conduct new ICDP-courses in West Bengal over the next few months and I will join her later on.”
In 2011 the ICDP team started the process of training of a new group of very motivated people, who will to become ICDP facilitators. A newly revised training concept was used, which meant that things developed more efficiently than before. After the first training workshop, the trainees did their practical field work by applying the three dialogues in relation to children. Then this was followed up by another 3-day workshop, which included a special session during which they made plans for their practical work with parents. By May most of the trainees had started to implement the ICDP programme by running their own parent-groups in two villages north of Kolkata and most of them are in process of finishing. Since January 2011, a new coordinator was appointed to replace Maria Chatterjee who could not continue due to ill health.
Refresher courses were held in 2012.