KEY PROJECTS

WATER, SANITATION, AND HYGIENE (WASH)

WaSH in Schools (WinS)- (2019)

Under the larger context of SBM, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) launched the Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya (SBSV) initiative to not only promote WASH facilities but also appropriate hygiene practices in schools. However, whether massive improvements in Wash in Schools (WinS) recently have led to measurable improvements in students’ enrollment, attendance, or learning outcomes is unclear. To determine if a credible association exists between the high level of WinS services to students and reduced absenteeism of girl students, NEERMAN, in collaboration with UNICEF, surveyed ~10,000 girl students in upper primary and secondary levels across 8 states of India between January and February 2019.

Client: UNICEF

Location: Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Chhatisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Odisha, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh

Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar (SVP) - School Validation Survey (2017 and 2018)

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MoHRD) launched the Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya (SBSV) mission in 2014. As a part of this mission, MoHRD instituted the Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar (SVP) to, “recognize, inspire and celebrate excellence in sanitation and hygiene practice in schools... and honor schools that have undertaken significant steps towards fulfilling the mandate of the Swachh Vidyalaya Campaign”. 

All government elementary and secondary schools were eligible for the SVP, and the applicants were evaluated on the following criteria: (1) Water, (2) Toilets, (3) Handwashing with Soap, (4) Operations and Maintenance, and (5) Behavior Change and Capacity Building. As a part of this project, NEERMAN conducted an independent validation survey of the 727 schools shortlisted for the national award, estimated their scores as per the agreed criteria, and made recommendations to the national level committee established for the SVP. 

Client: UNICEF

Partner Organisations: Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI)

Location: 727 schools spread across 23 states, 7 UTs and 346 districts in India

Economics and Financial Benefits Assessment of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (2017)

UNICEF and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) sought to estimate the economic and financial benefits of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) programme. NEERMAN conducted a 10,000-household survey across 12 states to estimate potential health impacts, time-use impacts, and costs of the SBM-G. This research will help estimate value-for-money efficiency measures of SBM-G interventions.

Client: UNICEF

Location: Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra,

Rajasthan, Karnataka, Telengana, Tamil Nadu, and Assam

HEALTH AND NUTRITION

Feasibility Study of Integrating Maternal Nutrition Interventions (2017-2019)

Maternal nutrition has been a long-standing concern of health authorities globally and in India. Despite the availability of proven, affordable interventions and program platforms such as Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) services, a streamlined package of maternal nutrition services is not reaching the majority of women during pregnancy. This undermines national efforts to improve maternal and newborn survival; and reduce morbidity, malnutrition and disabilities in women and children.

In India, Alive & Thrive (A&T) aims to test the feasibility of integrating a package of maternal nutrition interventions that align with the latest global evidence and the national policies and guidelines of the government of India within routine RMNCH services. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) conducted an impact evaluation of the A&T intervention in two districts of Uttar Pradesh – Unnao and Kanpur-Dehat and has partnered with NEERMAN to conduct a baseline and process evaluation between 2017-19 and an endline survey in November - December 2019.

The study mainly involved surveys of new mothers with children <6 months of age (900 in each group) along with a subset of pregnant women (300 in each group) to examine dietary practices in detail and provide information on the primary outcomes of diet quality during pregnancy. Husbands and mothers or mothers-in-law of these women, as well as Frontline workers (FLWs) providing services in the sampled areas, were also interviewed.

 

Client: IFPRI

Partner Organisations: Alive & Thrive (A&T)

Location: Uttar Pradesh (Kanpur-Dehat, Unnao)

Nested Cohort Study (2019-2020)

NEERMAN conducted a nested cohort study to assess some concerns related to measurements (i.e., recall bias and social desirability bias) and lack of functional outcomes (i.e., weight gain during pregnancy, anaemia, and child growth) in the A&T impact evaluation.
 
The primary objective was to follow a sample of 440 pregnant women through their pregnancy from ANC enrollment to one month postpartum at 3 key time points (early pregnancy/enrollment (≤ 4 months), mid-late pregnancy (6-9 months), and postpartum (within 42 days of delivery). Additionally, 3-4 short surveys with a gap of 1 month were performed for tracking of key nutritional outcomes and exposure to the interventions between the first and last surveys during the pregnancy. This study complemented the existing impact evaluation and provided an opportunity to:
1) apply objective measures for the consumption of IFA, calcium, dietary diversity, maternal haemoglobin and weight gain which can be used to validate the recall measures;
2) examine the association between exposure to the maternal nutrition intervention and later outcomes.

Client: IFPRI

Location: Uttar Pradesh (Kanpur-Dehat, Unnao)

Evaluation of the ICDS-Common Application Software (CAS) Programme (2017-2019)

The government is currently strengthening the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme through an mHealth intervention called Common Application Software (ICDS-CAS). CAS is an Application installed on smart phones, with accompanying multi-level data dashboards. This system is intended to be a job aid for frontline workers and ICDS officials, with an aim enable better service delivery, real time monitoring, and data-based decision making.
 
In partnership with University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), University of California, Berkeley (UCB), and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), NEERMAN was engaged to conduct an impact evaluation to assess whether ICDS-CAS can enable more timely and appropriate services to pregnant women, children <12 months and their mothers, compared to the standard ICDS programme. This study uses a village-matched controlled design with repeated cross-sectional surveys to evaluate the impacts of CAS, recruiting approximately 1500 Anganwadi workers and 6000+ mother-child dyads from 400+ matched pairs of villages in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

 

Client: Gates Foundation

Partner Organisations: UCSF, UCB, IFPRI

Location: Madhya Pradesh and Bihar

AGRICULTURE

Knowledge Assessment of Micronutrients among Farmers in Andhra Pradesh (2019)

Since 2015, the Government of Andhra Pradesh has been extending a 100% subsidy to farmers for applying micronutrients to their crops. This study’s main objective was to assess the knowledge and practices of farmers related to usage of the micronutrients. NEERMAN researchers collaborated and managed the data collection work with the International Food Policy Research Institute. The survey was conducted in 6 districts and 135 villages across Andhra Pradesh. A listing survey of approximately 100 farmers was done in each village, and 12 farmers were randomly selected for the main survey from among those listed. 

 

Client: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Location: Andhra Pradesh

Evaluation of Farmers using Solar Pumps for Irrigation (2018)

The Government of India and several state governments are promoting solar irrigation pumps by offering heavy capital subsidies. A data-driven study was designed by CIMMYT to assess the feasibility of the solar irrigation system and understand roadblocks for a potential scale-up across India. NEERMAN collected data for CIMMYT researchers to evaluate the feasibility of solar pumps for irrigation at different stages of crop production and understand if/how solar energy can be used for irrigation in energy deficit rural areas. The specific objective of this assignment was to conduct a survey of 840 farmers categorized into three sub-groups: (a) solar pump farmers (b) non-solar pump farmers (neighbours) and (c) farmers who buy water from the other two types of farmers.

 

Client: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

Partners: GIZ, International Water Management Institute

Location: Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh

Evaluating pulses production in Bihar (2016-2020)

The Government of India is currently promoting the production of pulses to augment the domestic supply. The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), with the help of local partners, is implementing a multipronged intervention to increase the uptake of pulses cultivation in Bihar and improve the productivity of pulses cultivation in the region. University of California, Davis and NEERMAN are collaborating on a multi-round evaluation of this intervention. The main impact evaluation design is a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial to measure the welfare consequences of expanding local pulse production. A baseline survey of 1180 farmers from 160 villages in five districts of Bihar is completed.  Additionally, the research partnership is answering other critical operations- and process-related questions using implementation science and choice experimental methods. So far, we have completed two additional rounds of survey with the above panel of farmers.

 

Client: University of California, Davis

Partners: Aga Khan Foundation

Location: Bihar

CHILD PROTECTION

MEL Study for UNICEF's Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) Programme (2019-2021)

Around half of the one million workers in the Tea Estates of Assam are women. Data on the tea garden communities show that almost half the women and girls are stunted and 96.7 per cent are anaemic, leading to high maternal mortality, under-nutrition and low learning levels. Early marriage is also a common social norm due to protection issues in the community, and a lack of education facilities and early employment opportunities. To address these issues holistically (Health, Nutrition, WASH, Child Protection & Education), UNICEF supports the tea estate management and associations (ABITA & BCP) to work in convergence with the Government to ensure the roll-out and implementation of the Flagship Programs within the tea estates.

At the same time, UNICEF supports NEERMAN in conducting Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation activities for its Ethical Tea Partnership program in Assam.

Client: UNICEF

Location: 9 districts in Assam

Cohort based evaluation of UNICEF's Adolescent Programme (2016-2019)

UNICEF implemented a large scale programme aimed at reducing child marriages, teenage pregnancies, and school dropout rates among adolescents in 16 districts across eight states in India. NEERMAN was hired as a research partner to adapt UNICEF's monitoring framework to Indian contexts, conduct annual household and village surveys, help establish a web-based monitoring reporting portal, and develop an Android-based internal monitoring system for the programme implementing partners. We also served as a national technical resource and research advisory agency for the Adolescent Programme.

Client: UNICEF

Location: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, and West Bengal

ENERGY

Assessment of Direct Benefit Transfer for Electricity (2019)

The levels of underground water have been dropping to dangerous levels across India. Given the strong groundwater-energy link in Punjab state of India, severe socioeconomic and environmental consequences are imminent. The supply of electricity for agriculture is free to farmers. However, it comes at a huge cost to the government, in the form of large subsidies to the utility companies to minimize their financial losses.

To address this issue, the state government of Punjab initiated a pilot testing of Direct Benefit Transfer for Electricity (DBTE) to farmers as an incentive to reduce the existing massive use of groundwater as well as excessive agricultural electricity consumption. The pilot project aims to address and provide solutions for the interlinked challenges of declining groundwater, increasing electricity consumption, and rising fiscal burden of power subsidy in the state. IWMI in partnership with TERI, collaborated with NEERMAN to carry out an impact assessment of the DBTE scheme which required household-level data from a sample of 400 farmers across six feeders in two districts.

Client: The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
Partners: International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Location: Punjab

Madhya Pradesh Power Transmission and Distribution System Improvement Project (2011 - 2012)

Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided a loan to the Madhya Pradesh government to provide 24 by 7 power supply to domestic consumers, and guaranteed 10-hours supply to agricultural consumers through feeder separation and distribution efficiency improvements. This research study was commissioned by ADB to estimate the socio-economic impacts of the project on households, and to ascertain whether effective rationing of power supply to farms negatively affects farm productivity. We employed a matched cohort method to assess the impacts of the project by surveying 2600 households from 154 villages in 12 districts of Madhya Pradesh. The results helped ADB and the Government of Madhya Pradesh in loan structuring, and development aid effectiveness analysis.
 
Client: Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Location: Madhya Pradesh

© 2017 by NEERMAN.