Investment opportunity #4- Lending expertise and networks by partnering with the government

Strategic Philanthropy | Feb, 2020

Investment opportunity #4: Lending expertise and networks by partnering with the government

Case study: Transformation of Aspirational Districts Programme supported by the Piramal Foundation

About the model: The Piramal Foundation was chosen by NITI Aayog to lend its expertise and networks to complement government efforts on the Transformation of Aspirational Districts Programme (TADP) in the areas of education and health. The Transformation of Aspirational Districts Programme was launched by the prime minister in January 2018, to improve the Human Development Index of the 117 lower-ranked districts in India. The aim was also to significantly reduce the inter-state and inter-district variations in development. Under this flagship programme, the foundation works with district, state and central government efforts in 25 out of the 117 aspirational districts across 7 states, to improve health, nutrition and education outcomes.

Under education, the Piramal Foundation works to improve student learning outcomes and enrolment in public schools while promoting behaviour change in the public education system. Under healthcare and nutrition, the Piramal Foundation aspires to improve maternal health, child health as well as the nutrition of children, antenatal and neonatal mothers.

As a systems actor, the foundation gets results at scale across diverse geographies and communities through powerful partnerships. The foundation believes that partnerships with state and central governments, like-minded philanthropists, corporates, donors, non-profit organisations and social delivery organisations will help in bringing scalable and sustainable social change.

Impact and scaling potential: Assessments by ID Insights, as the third-party evaluator appointed by NITI Aayog for TADP, have shown promising improvements in education and health indicators over the last two years. The foundation mobilised over 2.67 Lakh community members in its focus districts towards reinstating trust and faith in the public education system. This has resulted in re- enrollment of over 1.15 lakh drop-out students and enrollment of over 6.06 lakh new students in government schools. The foundation upskilled government education officials at cluster level for supporting teachers and schools. In 25 districts, 5,023 schools have been selected and are being developed as model schools by improving their infrastructure, hiring a teaching staff, setting up libraries and improving a plethora of school processes.

On the health and nutrition front, the Piramal Foundation’s work with community, government and frontline health workers has resulted in an overall improvement in key indicators around maternal and child health and nutrition. Registration of pregnant women for antenatal care services has increased by 21%, institutional delivery rate has increased by 16%, timely initiation of breastfeeding of newborns has increased by 21% and exclusive breastfeeding of children up to 6 months of age has increased by 4% over 18 months of age. Additionally, health facilities in these districts have been strengthened to provide quality services.

Philanthropic spotlight: The Piramal Foundation approaches India’s development challenges through innovative solutions, a collaborative mindset and a focus on grassroots development. As part of the TADP, the Piramal Foundation has supported government efforts through funding and its expertise in technology integration, leadership development, change management support and research. Piramal Foundation is looking for knowledge and funding partners to intensify its efforts in aspirational districts.

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