SHOPS Plus supports the Nepal CRS Company (CRS) to implement the Remote Area Initiative, which promotes and creates demand for family planning, and maternal and child health services in rural communities. The Nepal CRS Company engages community change agents to conduct health promotion and disseminate important health messages to women. Topics include the importance of antenatal check-ups and institutional delivery, health and hygiene, and uterine prolapse prevention.
SHOPS Plus worked with the Nepal CRS Company to design and launch a second phase of this initiative to introduce more effective behavior change techniques, link outreach activities to community development strategies, and strengthen sustainability. The new approach is more focused on behavior change, including the timely use of data to measure progress in changing behavioral drivers. The redesigned initiative works in four of the most remote hill districts with some of the poorest reproductive and child health indicators in Nepal. Community change agents from the first phase of the Remote Area Initiative, implemented in the districts of Jumla, Bardiya, and Bajhang, graduated from the program. To support sustained access, SHOPS Plus provided each with a starter kit of health and hygiene products to sell as a profitable revenue stream. The project continues to monitor their progress.