The Uttar Pradesh Technical Support Unit provides techno-managerial assistance to the Government of Uttar Pradesh for strengthening its Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) and Nutrition programs. Though good progress has been achieved in maternal and child health outcomes, certain populations are still left out.  Integrating a gender-responsive approach into healthcare interventions can bridge these gaps by a) Identifying root causes of gender-based inequities in service access and utilisation and b) designing, planning and implementing interventions that are strategically aligned with the larger outcomes; c) identifying potential risks and areas that need further evidence or mitigation strategies; d) defining outcomes and indicators to provide a framework for monitoring progress and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions.

By addressing gender inequalities through continuous learning and reflection, UPTSU can ensure equitable health service coverage and improved health outcomes for women and children.

To address gender inequalities, UPTSU follows a three-tiered strategy for gender integration across the three levels of the ecological framework:

(1) Broad Interventions: These are statewide interventions aimed to raise awareness and sensitise service providers and frontline staff on gender and equity issues. Activities under this intervention include the development of gender e-modules, incorporation of gender chapters in state training modules, advocacy for gender-sensitive health policies, etc.

(2) Targeted Interventions: These focus on gaps in program coverage for critical interventions at the facility and community level. Using a gender-responsive lens, existing mechanisms in various locations are leveraged to address these gaps, particularly among subpopulations/communities with low program coverage. Activities under this intervention include the development and implementation of gender gap assessment tools, building capacities of staff and frontline workers to strategise and implement solutions to mitigate gender barriers, etc.

(3) Immersive Interventions: These aim to gain an in-depth understanding and test innovative solutions for gender integration in specific locations. Activities include creating social support systems to address harmful gender norms impacting families and maternal/child health, engaging with men (individually and with their partners) to reflect on and address their unequal power relationship that impacts maternal and child health, etc.

The documentation of the processes, impact and innovations will be routinely undertaken for dissemination across national and international learning forums. The three-tiered gender integration strategy will ultimately improve the coverage and quality of the selected long-term outcomes of UPTSU.

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