Assessing Challenges and Opportunities with the ICDS Scheme in India


India has one of the highest malnutrition burdens of any country in the world. The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme is the Government of India’s national program for tackling widespread malnutrition. The Indian state and national governments collectively contribute billions of dollars each year to this program. However, progress towards achieving malnutrition targets continues to lag. The take-home ration (THR) portion of ICDS provides children, adolescent girls, and pregnant and lactating mothers with daily supplementary food to improve their overall calorie, nutrient and protein intake. Challenges with the composition of this product, the quality and governance, and the production and distribution of THR persist.


With support from with the Tata Educational Trust, Pharos worked with key stakeholders to better understand the challenges affecting the THR portion of the Integrated Child Development Services. Five focus states were selected based on their malnutrition burdens and type of supplementary food production and distribution model: Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Odisha, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh. Pharos synthesized findings from desk review, state visits, and key stakeholder interviews into a comprehensive strategic analysis and proposal.

Status: Completed

Team Members Involved: Ryan Schwarz, Kelly Flanagan, Nina Dodd, and Robert Hecht

For more information, contact Robert Hecht at [email protected].

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