Institute for Global Health



Cluster randomised controlled trial of a Community intervention to improve growth among children under two in rural India (CARING)


Dates: 2013-2016

Principal Investigators: Dr Audrey Prost & Dr Nirmala Nair

Partner: Ekjut and the Public Health Foundation of India

Location: India - West Singhbhum district (Jharkhand) and Keonjhar district (Odisha), eastern India

Funding: DfID, MRC and Wellcome Trust Joint Global Health Trial scheme

Contact: audrey.prost@ucl.ac.uk

Project Summary 

Forty percent of the world's undernourished children live in India. The CARING trial: CARING is an operational research project that aims to develop and evaluate a community-based intervention to improve nutrition and growth in the first 1000 days of life in rural eastern India. The intervention is designed to be scalable through a community health worker proposed by India's Integrated Child Development for the country's 200 most underserved districts.

The project will take place between 2013 and 2017, and is a collaboration between the Indian NGO Ekjut, the Public Health Foundation of India, and University College London.

This study aims to assess the impact, cost-effectiveness and scalability of a community intervention to improve child growth in two rural districts of Jharkhand and Orissa, India, where over 60% of children are stunted.

The intervention involves a village-based female agent carrying out two activities: (a) monthly home visits for growth monitoring and promotion to all children aged 0-24 months and their mothers in order to support appropriate feeding, infection control and caregiving; (b) a monthly participatory women's group meeting to catalyse individual and community action for maternal and child health and nutrition. The intervention is being evaluated using a cluster-randomised controlled trial in 120 villages across two districts. 

We aim for the study to help inform local and national-level strategies to reduce maternal and child undernutrition.

Research Team
Ekjut: Nirmala Nair, Prasanta Tripathy, Rajesh Sinha, Rajkumar Gope, Shibanand Rath & Suchitra Rath

Prof HPS Sachdev (Independent Co-I)

PHFI: Sanghita Bhattacharyya, Aradhana Srivastava

UCL: Naomi Saville, Andrew Copas, Jolene Skordis-Worrall, Hassan Hagparast-Bigdoli, Audrey Prost, Anthony Costello


Ejkut Facebook page


Child Health
Randomised Controlled Trials
Global Health and Development
Cost effectiveness

CARING overview
Related docs
Trial registration with Current Controlled Trials


Further research