The proposed campaign on early and exclusive breastfeeding will be done in eight steps outlined below.

Step 1. Identify the Cluster Level Federation

Early and exclusive breastfeeding! Which are the cluster level federations willing to do a full-fledged community campaign? Let us  identify them.

Step 2. Invite the Federations

We invite them to join the campaign and send their Social Action Committee for an orientation and communication planning session

Step 3 Orient Social Action Committees

The CLF nominates five social action committee members  to join our orientation.

Step 4. Focus on three sets of Participants

We orient  five or six social action committees at a time  into the basics of the campaign

In these campaigns  the participating Federations  through the social action committees will address

  1. Primary participants − those whose behaviour they want to change
  2. Secondary participants– those in the family who influence primary groups (e.g., grandmothers, fathers)
  3. Tertiary participants − those in the community who influence primary and secondary groups.  These include leaders,  teachers, civil society organizations)


Here are the skills the orientation  will focus on.

  •  to connect  with people and create local partnerships to encourage participation,
  • to generate EBF demand and create a long-lasting process of social transformation.
  • to include vulnerable populations and consider children as key agents of change whenever possible.
  • to use a two-way dialogue and a problem-solving approach.   (Ask mothers and others about their experience and opinion on  exclusive breastfeeding).
    • to use contact points with
    • the health system
    • community groups and
    • networks to inform, counsel, support and encourage breastfeeding women.  (e.g., doctors, nurses, community health workers, mother support groups).
  • to engage family decision-makers creatively—expand traditional roles to support mothers who are breastfeeding (e.g., fathers, grandmothers, mothers-in-law, perhaps older children as well).
  • to create opportunities for dialogue among community members, networks and organizations about how they can support women who are breastfeeding (e.g., identify influential elders and formal or informal social structures).
  • to identify address social norms to improve the social acceptability of breastfeeding practices (e.g., if breastfeeding with addition of water or teas is traditional). •
  • to sustain the activities of field workers (NGO, government, volunteers) with training in communication skills and supportive supervision.

Step 5  Form a district level core group

Form a district level nucleus that  will

  • Focus  on district levels to improve communication and coordination among the health system, local government, employers/private sector and community members .
  • partner with those who implement C4D activities or deliver services at the district and block levels (e.g., non-governmental organizations, health system, schools)

Step 6 State Level Task Force

Step 6 We will also establish a multi-disciplinary team at the state level is essential to ensure the coordination and support necessary to plan, implement and sustain an effective communication strategy for exclusive breastfeeding within a broader IYCF communication strategy.

The state coordination committee will focus on macro level –the political and administrative  level , which establishes a relationship between participant levels and specific communication approaches.

We will equip the  state-level task force

  • to use advocacy at the state level to motivate leaders and decision-makers (including state authorities, state associations representing the private sector, etc.)
  • to support IYCF and EBF programmes actively through change and enforcement of policies, allocation of resources and public statements .

Objectives and results at the Federation Level

  • Develop communication and monitoring plans that work from common objectives and clearly state actions and behaviours the participants will undertake as a result of the communication strategies and the social transformation process.
  • Use research to feed the planning process and to provide evidence of results to modify the campaign strategy on a continuing basis.

Step 7 Monitoring Mechanisms

  • Monitor results of campaign activities at several levels—
    • • conduct focused monitoring and evaluation, followed by effective use of the data generated, including campaign results track indicators for family and community support for breastfeeding women,
    • track actions  of  CLF leaders and decision-makers and the social action committees
    • the performance of the  frontline workers and results of partnerships,
    • above all  the end result: increases in optimal breastfeeding practiceDevelop effective and participatory communication strategies to promote breastfeeding,

  Step 8 Creative Advisory Team

We will also form a   creative and advisory support team at the state level who could be communication resource people on call to advise, to strategize, to facilitate,  to simplify material and to provide content,  all on demand.

Meanwhile here is  a table on many factors that influence breastfedding decisions. A table on which we need to seek the opinion of the community.


Jeevika calls us to make history.

Yes we are called to make history in our life time, in fact in the next three years. Few people in history has had such an opportunity.

Jeevika  plans to  impact directly 12 million families or households that is about 72 million people spread over  a 100,000 villages. Yes we  live in epic times. Indirectly we stand to change the behaviour of 100 million people, change the social norms of how they approach  health, gender and livelihood issues.

Jeevika Calls Us to Change a Billion Conversations

We stand to change the society in Bihar and India. In order to do this we need to change a billion conversations in the small towns and villages of Bihar, in the homes, in the clinics and hospitals, in the government offices and market places.

How do we get there? What are the questions we should be asking before we get there?

Can we, the key people involved in this mission pause and  ask ourselves the most important questions, before we take the next leap?

I am suggesting that we use the Wold Cafe process  to ask those questions to have a conversation. World Cafe heavily used by the corporate and development world across the world is yet to catch up in India.

Jeevika Calls Us to Ask the Right Questions

I have conducted a few world cafe sessions in India, some of them with children and others with development professionals.  Each one was a rewarding experience. The cover picture on my facebook page is a Water Cafe conducted in New Delhi. I know the one we do on the 14th will also be a rewarding experience.

The success of World Cafe sessions depend on the questions discussed on the Cafe tables.  What should these questions be? What do you think are the most important five or six questions we should be asking within Jeevika. Tomorrow I will be posting to you the seven step process that constitutes world cafe. If you do not want wait till tomorrow  here is a link. (you will get six more letters like this till the day of the world cafe session).

I do not want  to overload you with information, hence this daily instalment approach.

It all depends on how we formulate our questions. I will be sending you a letter  on the 9th and links on how such questions can be formulated. But till then I suggest each one of you individually formulate a question or two and post it to me.