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Promoting Change in Reproductive Behavior in Bihar

Meaning “promote” in Hindi, PRACHAR was a groundbreaking program that empowered young couples and adolescents to adopt healthy reproductive behaviors and tackle social norms that pressure them to marry and have children before they are ready.

Project Date: 2001 - 2013
Funder: David and Lucile Packard Foundation (with supplemental funding from UNFPA in 2009)
Country: India
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960 villages with a total of 10 million people were reached through the project

1,000+ government frontline health workers were trained to provide adolescents with critical health information

Young women who took part in the program got married 2.6 years later than those who did not. They had their first babies 1.5 years later.

What We Did

  • Trained and supported over 1,000 government frontline health workers to bring accurate and unbiased reproductive health information to young people’s doorsteps
  • Made sure unmarried adolescents have the information and support they need, so they can protect their health and delay marriage until they are ready
  • Motivated young couples to adopt a contraceptive method of their choice to delay their first pregnancy and space their second child
  • Engaged parents, mothers-in-law, and other influential adults in the community to shift beliefs and norms around early marriage and childbearing
  • Built the capacity of over 20 local partners and the Bihar government so PRACHAR’s results lasted well beyond the life of the project

Project Staff Members

Mahesh Srinivas

Director of Programs

Dr. Srinivas is a medical doctor and public health management specialist with more than 15 years of...

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