Introducing Focus Areas
Vihara’s new directions necessarily build on its current and on-going areas of work, where we have been accumulating ever deeper experience and expertise as well as some ready solutions which can be deployed in different world regions. These areas of work represent not only our priorities, but also key challenges in Global Health.
Our current areas of focus are.
As we transition from the agenda of FP2020 to FP2030 in this new decade, we are faced with the additional challenge of COVID-19 that has exacerbated the already grim situation of Family Planning and Sexual and Reproductive Health, especially in low and middle-income countries. Limited access to SRHR information and services including contraception, safe abortion methods, HIV and STI prevention services, limited access to menstrual products and information, and rise in unplanned pregnancies and other vulnerabilities specifically among adolescents and young women have aggravated as a result of the pandemic.
Vihara Innovation Network is committed to building gender-equitable approaches, with a keen focus on couple-making and positive masculinity, to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes. A cross-disciplinary lens of Human-Centered Design, Design Anthropology and Behavioral Sciences enables our approach of targeting different user bases (adolescents, couples, family, and community) to strengthen service delivery, increase uptake of FP-SRH services, and enable behaviour change.
Sarah Tanishka Nethan | Focus Area Lead
Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing
The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted mental health issues at scale but it is only in the past decade that Global Health increasingly started to recognise the long-standing correlation between mental wellbeing and uptake of healthful behaviours, economic productivity, crisis management capacities at both individual & community levels. In such a scenario, the need of the hour is to account for the differential impact the crisis has had on populations to create focused solutions that are both contextually sensitive and sustainably scalable.
Vihara is motivated to work in the field of mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of disadvantaged individuals and vulnerable communities by foregrounding the impact of structural, environmental and socioeconomic factors on mental health needs across different life stages. Focus on psychosocial health would account for both internalisation of distress and external factors contributing to it.The team will engage with challenges & needs that broadly fall under two categories:
(i) Day to day distress, anxiety and stress due to a particular life stage/situational changes
(ii) Trauma, loss, grief and severe mental disorders induced due to a shock, requiring clinical intervention.
Radhika Kannan | Focus Area Lead
Ameya Chaturvedi | Focus Area Member
TB remains one of those tough diseases where the human behavioural, familial and psychosocial issues are significant and have an impact on health outcomes, but remain largely unaddressed at scale.
Vihara's TB vertical is keen to bring new perspectives and approachs to supplement and improve TB programs across the country. The vertical and its vision are attuned to the shifts in the TB ecosystem brought about by the COVID pandemic. Vihara has identified specific areas where our decades of experience and expertise can significantly contribute to existing programs and inform the design of new initiatives.
We are looking to partner with future forward TB service providers and programs to integrate patient centric approaches, pychosocially grounded interventions and outcome oriented program design.
Madhu Priyanka Kannabiran | Focus Area Lead
Srividya Venkataraman | Focus Area Manager
Gender and Health
Vihara’s Gender & Health Vertical works to understand gendered, sociocultural, and environmental determinants of health.
We work to discover and design how gender norms transformation, greater financial and digital access for women, and advancing livelihoods and financial inclusion for women, can allow us to build healthy, resilient, and future forward communities.
Raikamal Roy | Focus Area Lead
Pratyusha Barua | Focus Area Manager
Vihara brings a learnings-based, people-centered approach to adapting, synthesising and developing contextual solutions in digital health. Our team is passionate about understanding and learning how prevalent technology has enabled health systems and behaviour; contributing to and adapting the Global Goods and Principles for Digital Development into our practice; supporting and scaling ongoing digital health platforms with our diligent and in-depth focus on people, their health and therefore outcomes.
Our approach can be broadly classified amongst beneficiaries, healthcare workers, donors and policymakers.
Pradhan Thandra | Focus Area Lead