AIF’s Mission Corona Vijay successfully vaccinates 2 million people

Working across 26 states, the campaign has successfully facilitated more than 2 million doses to this section

Mr. Nishant Pandey – CEO of AIF

American Indian Foundation (AIF) launched their vaccination initiative – vaccination initiative – ‘The First Million’, by covering the wider geographies of India and reaching out to the population that warranted behavior change in their attitudes and perceptions against the COVID vaccination. MCV catered to a larger audience and persuaded them to get both doses to complete the vaccination cycle. The campaign helped mobilize a broad spectrum of the beneficiary segment and has been imperative to the success of the vaccination initiative. Working across 26 states, the campaign, today, has successfully facilitated more than 2 million doses to this section. The MCV campaign has so far reached over 100 million people. Driven by equity, inclusion, and positive discrimination, the initiative focused on facilitating vaccination for sex workers, rural tribal populations, street vendors, migrant workers, persons with disability, and vulnerable women.

Mr. Nishant Pandey – CEO of AIF said, “Right from the inception of the initiative, we envisaged the significant role of research to identify the beneficiary population in the communities that will either remain neglected or require intense intervention from the programmatic point of view. Once identified, preliminary research was conducted to recognize their milieu and unique set of challenges and deterrents to getting vaccinated. This was followed by a quant study consisting of Group discussions and one-on-one interviews with the identified community members in chosen geographies and the findings were curated to inform the design and execution of the communication material to address the specific hesitancies. Underpinning the MCV campaign, research helped steer the campaign’s impact & effectiveness.”

AIF said that it is committed to improving the lives of India’s underprivileged population, with a special focus on women, children, and youth. With the pandemic disproportionately impacting the poor, AIF has pivoted to design and deliver interventions that rehabilitate disenfranchised communities around the country. Leveraging the experience of the past 20 years and the synergies with state governments, AIF launched Project Entre-Prerana, an intervention at the confluence of digital and financial inclusion, to implement systemic transformation focused on reviving the livelihoods of 1 million street vendors and other micro-entrepreneurs, by providing them access to new sources of income, low-cost working capital and mainstreaming their business through formal registration. Nishant further added, “Through our flagship Education program – Digital Equalizer, during unprecedented lockdowns and school closure, AIF ensured that children with no digital access, continued their learning through community/remedial classes, tablets, and pen drives loaded with content, along with tailored digital content and worksheets. Entre-Prerana and DE are among many programmatic interventions, that AIF has undertaken to rehabilitate the lives of those at the margins, reaching out to more than 12.9 million people across 31 States and Union Territories in the country.”

Working with Ernst & Young (EY) as a data and process monitoring partner, AIF also maintained data transparency and accountability for the vaccine initiative. The initiative was an exemplary mix of integrated communication that serves the objectives and works for the higher welfare of the stakeholders, educating and mobilizing them through multiple channels.

AIF also collaborated with multiple NGOs and State governments to take aid them in terms of local knowledge and relationships with block and district authorities which paved the way for a successful campaign. Nishant said, “We had an incredible synergy with on-ground facilitation and implementation partners and it emerged stronger with every passing phase of the program. Greater milestones can be achieved by the sheer grit and enthusiasm of an energetic team and fortunately, we had one.”

To read the published article in Hindustan Times, click here

Nishant Pandey is the CEO of the American India Foundation (AIF). In this capacity, Nishant provides strategic leadership to AIF’s operations spanning the US and India.

Nishant began his career as a banker but soon realised that development sector was his calling. He joined a global charity called Oxfam as the Programme Officer for South India where he designed and developed value-chain programmes on the theme of ‘power in markets’. Subsequently, he moved Oxfam’s global HQ in Oxford to lead on programme development and management in 12 countries including Russia, Tajikistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Albania, Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Jordon. In his work on Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area and its impact on small farmers in European neighbourhood, he demonstrated a rare ability to link high-level policy with community-focussed projects on the ground and was soon given the opportunity to lead the entire policy and campaigns portfolio for Oxfam in the region. Before moving back to India as AIF’s Country Director, Nishant was based in Jerusalem where he had one of the most complex and challenging assignments as Oxfam’s Country Director for the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel. Nishant lives with his wife, Nupur, and son, Abeer, in New York City.

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