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Capacity Development

The success of the polio programme relies on thousands of mobilisers at the district, block and community level delivering accurate, effective messages on polio. Mobilizers at every level of the SMNet have had to be trained to have the knowledge and skills that are required. Community mobilizers need to be able to speak with authority in their own communities, and to be able to enter homes and engage parents in a way that convinces them to vaccinate their children.

At the block and district levels mobilizers need to be trained on how to recruit and supervise CMCs, be effective advocates, maintain the partnership, use and collect data, plan communication based on evidence, track missed children and monitor the programme. As the polio eradication programme evolves to focus on other issues such as routine immunization the SMNet has had to be trained to deliver effective messages to their communities about these issues too.



The CMCs are trained their supervising Block Mobilization Coordinator and the Sub-Regional Training Coordinator. The CMCs have induction training over two to three days when they first join the polio programme, and are brought together again occasionally for refresher training sessions. Each month when the CMCs meet their supervising BMCs to collect their payments, the BMCs use it as an opportunity to update the CMCs on any new information or to deliver any extra training needed.

SMNet members at the block and district levels are inducted and trained by the capacity development officers in the Uttar Pradesh and Bihar state offices. They are trained about Polio Plus, management, evidence based planning, the Underserved Strategy, routine immunization, communication for development, advocacy and communication skills, interpersonal communication skills and more.

There are nine Sub-Regional Training Coordinators in Bihar and five in Uttar Pradesh. The training coordinators in the Uttar Pradesh and Bihar state offices are responsible for them, and a capacity development specialist in the UNICEF India Country Office in Delhi has oversight of the overall capacity development needs of the programme.


Filling Gaps

From time to time ‘Learning Needs Assessment’ is conducted to understand the existing needs and gaps which need to be addressed through capacity development strategies. By surveying more than 7,000 members of the Social Mobilization Network gaps in their knowledge and skills are identified, and training can then be targeted to fill the gaps.