Celebrating more than 16 years of working together in India
IKEA Foundation and UNICEF have been working together for the past 16 years in India for building an enabling environment that can support the holistic development of children. This 16 year-long partnership presents a successful model of collaboration between a development organisation and a corporate foundation, wherein the two entities have grown together, streamlined their resources and built on their sector expertise to support each other in developing innovative, sustainable and scalable solutions for children in India.
The IKEA Foundation has been supporting long-term programmes to help poor children and families in India since 2000. The IKEA Foundation’s current work grew from IKEA’s efforts to fight child labour in its supply chain to more sustained efforts in strengthening systems and scaling up programmes basis evidence. Early on in the endeavour, IKEA learned that to prevent child labour it is vital to address the root causes of why children work and other underlying issues that impact lives of children.
The shared commitment of IKEA Foundation and UNICEF towards India’s Children that began as independent time-bound projects to address the issue of child labour has evolved into a journey full of progressive, sustainable and scalable models of successes and lessons leading to policy influences at the national level. The two partners in this 16 years’ journey leveraged their strengths to impact the lives of millions of children in India. The partnership has stayed focused on global goals for children as defined by MDG’s and now the SDG’s ensuring children across India increasingly realise their rights.
Key results achieved for children in last 16 years in India
Multiple initiatives addressing child rights and child survival across multiple geographies
Beginning with one program in Uttar Pradesh in 2000, currently, integrated programmes are in operation across 14 states of India. Starting with a project to address child labour issues in UP through mainstreaming out of school children and empowering women self-help groups through credit assistance and market access. This program was further extended to the cotton belt in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. To address the issues of poor infant mortality and under 5 mortality rates, initiatives on increasing immunisation coverage, accelerating use ORS and a focus on neonatal care were undertaken in 14 states across the country.
Today, IKEA Foundation supports programmes of UNICEF in 14 states and these support the entire lifecycle approach of a child from -0.9 to 18 years aimed to break the intergenerational cycle and strengthening programmes that impact children across the framework of their rights – of survival, development, protection and participation.
Innovations and evidence-based program models
Several Innovations and evidence-based models were developed that could be scaled up and replicated. For instance, under the Child Survival project, the concept of Sick Newborn Care Units (SNCU)- a centre with neo-natal facilities, was developed in consultation with Government of India and the National Neonatology Forum. Three SNCUs were piloted in Madhya Pradesh. SNCU emerged as a key innovation adopted and scaled by the national government. The pilot demonstrated the results and today India has 548 number of SNCU’s that have been scaled up by the Government. SNCU’s is just an example. Similar scale ups can be seen across all other programmes.
Karin Hulshof, Regional Director, East Asia & Pacific highlighted during one of the interactions, “If IKEA Foundation wouldn’t have invested in the first three SNCUs, there wouldn’t have been 548 SNCUs across the country today. The SNCU model emerged as one of the most widely accepted public health models in India”
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