Evaluation of Integrated Childhood Development Services (ICDS) program implementation in an urban slum of Delhi, India

Jitendra Kumar Meena, Anjana Verma, Rajesh Kumar


Background: The Integrated Childhood Development Services (ICDS) scheme is India’s foremost program imparting comprehensive and cost-effective services to meet the multi-dimensional needs of children. Following a populist approach, the program has now increased its umbrella coverage to reproductive age, pregnant and lactating women. The impact of such development and existing program performance remain debatable due to the paucity of evaluation research.

Methods: A mix-methods descriptive case study was done using adapted ICDS monitoring tool in a pre-identified slum. The slum was purposely chosen for its intensive habitation of the poor and marginalized population. Primary data were collected through personalized interviews with program staff, health functionaries, and community representatives. Secondary data were collected from records available at Anganwadi centre (AWC). The data were triangulated and analyzed with results being expressed in narrative, simple proportions and percentages.

Results: The mean coverage of ICDS services was 58.3%. Maximum coverage recorded for Supplementary Nutrition (SN) and minimal for Nutrition and Health Education (NHE). SN, immunization, Pre-school education (PSE) and growth monitoring (0-3 years) were regularly held. Maternal and child health services were unsatisfactory. Poor community perception reported for AWC and ICDS services with exception of SN.

Conclusions: Present case study unveils poor infrastructure, coverage and community participation for ICDS services. Immunisation and referral networking is often dysfunctional reflecting the need for enhanced intersectoral cooperation. Adapted tools could serve as an effective strategy for evaluating and facilitating need-based improvements.


Slum, Anganwadi, Delhi, Child development, Evaluation, ICDS, NIPCCD

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