Developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Pashe Achhi is a telecommunication based tool that provides psychosocial and parenting support to mothers with children aged 0-5 years in Bangladesh. The curriculum, developed by psychologists and experienced curriculum developers, focuses on caregiver well-being and play-based learning activities and is delivered by trained frontline workers or ‘Play Leaders’. While some communities (e.g., Rohingya refugees) currently receive the curriculum in-person, the virtual model continues to innovate to reach a larger audience including fathers and ultra-poor communities.
Active since 2020
Developer BRAC Institute of Educational Development
- Technology utilized
0 – 5 years
- Target audience
ECD Focus areas
- Health and nutrition Support for children’s physical and emotional health and access to diverse nutrient rich food. This also includes maternal health and nutrition including during pregnancy.
- Caregiver well-being and mental health Support for caregivers own emotional, social, and mental well-being by supporting development of required skills to identify, manage, and cope with stressors and providing counseling support.
- Early learning Opportunities for children to engage in activities that promote early literacy, numeracy, motor, and social-emotional skills.
How it works
Pashe Achhi delivers psychosocial support and playful learning messages and activities to caregivers over phone calls. The telecommunication sessions are scripted and delivered by trained facilitators or play leaders.
The weekly 20-minute sessions are personalized based on the age of the child. If the child is 3 and above, they are also included in the session and play leaders directly engage with both mother and child over speaker phone.Read more
Each session is divided into two parts:
- The first half is dedicated to understanding and supporting the mother’s well-being through active listening, empathy, and non-judgemental communication.
- The second half is focused on sharing activities and tips on engaging children in playful learning through rhymes, physical play, storytelling, and art.
BRAC is also testing the efficacy of small add-ons to the Pashe Achhi model with a broader audience. With support from BRAC Education Program (BEP), the program has been scaled to reach a larger audience and support school readiness for children aged 4-5. In this model, the Pashe Achhi messages are shared with both fathers and mothers The inclusion of voice messages in addition to phone calls is currently being tested with ultra-poor communities
- User engagement strategies
- Key functions
Reach and relevance
156,000As of March 2023.
- Country of origin
BRAC identifies potential users from their existing programs and communities in close proximity to public primary schools. The program’s para counselors and play leaders also reach out to community members over phone calls to raise awareness for the program and support recruitment.
Technology and access
To receive Pashe Achhi calls, users need a basic mobile device with cellular service. Pashe Achhi is available free of charge to all users.
- Connectivity requirements
- Device types
- Cost model
To monitor program delivery, BRAC collects data including whether the call took place, the call duration, topics covered in the call, and user engagement during the session. A quality assessment tool was developed in partnership with New York University which helps assess quality of the engagement and dialogue during the session.
To evaluate program impact, data on knowledge, attitudes and practices of caregivers is collected every month to analyze change in caregiver behavior. BRAC also adapted the Ages and Stages Questionnaire to collect data at the start and end of the intervention on the cognitive, social and emotional skills of children and included the Patient Health Quesionnaire (PHQ9), a validated tool to detect depressive and anxiety symptoms, to collect data on depressive symptoms among mothers.
Further, BRAC also conducts studies on Pashe Achhi to identify effects of add-on services and variation in impact amongst different communities. An evaluation of Pashe Achhi examining the effects of the program on children’s cognitive and socio-emotional development and variation development among children based on dosage has been completed and is currently being prepared for publication.
The curriculum was developed and adapted for virtual use in partnership with Dr. Cassie Landers from Columbia University. Researchers from Global TIES for Children, New York University supported the development of the quality assessment tool. BRAC Institute also partnered with BRAC Education Program to take Pashe Achhi to scale for children aged 4-5 years to support their transition to kindergarten.