Saturday, December 20, 2008
சில கானங்களில் வரிகள் மனதை வருடுகின்றன....
சிலவற்றில் இராகம் நெஞ்சில் இறங்குகின்றன...
பலவற்றில் பாடகரின் பண்பட்ட குரல் உள்ளத்தை உருக்குகின்றன...
ஆனால் ஒன்றிரண்டு மட்டுமே கேட்போரின் எண்ணத்தைக் கூறுகின்றன..
"நீங்காத பாரம் என் நெஞ்சோடுதான்..
நான் தேடும் சுமைதாங்கி நீயல்லவா?
நான் வாழும் நேரம் உன் மார்போடுதான்..
நீ என்னைத் தாலாட்டும் தாயல்லவா?"
[English translation follows!]
Monday, December 15, 2008
"A social initiative will produce a better impact when it is targeted towards the economically poorer sections of the society. The richer the beneficiaries are, the lesser social impact it has.."
While in general this point has a validity, it has to be revisited for every specific case. Here is an example. A team of my friends and I conducted a science demo in a private school nearby. When I talked about this, "Don't you think your initiative would be more useful to students of government schools?" was one question that popped up universally. My answer is "In my case doing it in *this* private school is likely to have a higher social impact" . Why?
1. This private school doesn't have a lab infrastructure in spite of the students paying a nominal school fee (Rs. 200/- per month).
2. The students here do have a capability to read, listen to and understand English, Telugu and Hindi which provides us flexibility in our implementation. So, it gets easier for us to get more students to start "thinking and reasoning science" - a better success rate at our initiative. On the other hand, a government school on which we are working on the ability to grasp English is lesser providing us with challenges (lesser number of teachers from our office)
Much more importantly, access to better education sure is relatively much more difficult for the poor. However, schools that fall in the economic category of the one that we are working on also face problems faced by government schools (non-availability of teachers, labs etc.). In addition to that they also suffer the ignorance of NGOs that rush to help poor quality government schools. It is almost as if these students are paying Rs. 200/- per month to be ignored!
Thankfully, in our case, we need to ignite as many minds to think and reason (in science and others..). In our eyes, whether the students have the ability to pay Rs.200/- or not, if their inclination to reason is lacking, they are equally poor! Only the former is equipped with a skill (English language) that offers flexibility for us to make a better impact.
A society, apart from being categorized into economically richer and poorer, can also be categorized into rich and poor based on other criteria. And the economically richer need not be richer (or have better opportunity) in all the other categories. Social upliftment, one must remember, is not only the upliftment of the economically poorest, but the upliftment of the society as a whole.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Ask my room mate and he will tell you that i read a book at about a page per day before dozing off. Now that I've started off with tamil books its worse. Yesterday i bought a book called 'Katrathum petrathum' (those learnt and those acquired) in which novelist sujatha shared his views and experiences with a sumptuous and proportionate dose of comedy and insightful facts. An engrossing read. But the best part is, i didnt have to fumble with my rusty tamil reading ability. My dad did it adding the much missed flow. Sujatha through my dad's goggles sure looks wiser.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Today’s session was on an interesting topic called social accounting and auditing. Financial accounting and auditing are tried and tested methods for tracking and verifying the financial status of an organization and finding out if the financial goals are met are violated. Social accounting and auditing is a parallel concept developed on the lines of financial accounting and auditing in order to measure and verify the social goals of a social enterprise.
In case of a business enterprise, when a project is taken up, one sets a financial goal for the project. As the project progresses one tracks certain financial metrics of the project that will help assess the financial performance of the project when financial audit is done.
However a social enterprise has a double bottom line of financial profit and a social impact. So, when a project is taken up in a social enterprise, similar to having a standardized financial accounting procedure that can be used for enterprises catering to different sectors, one may have standard social accounting procedure that can be used be social enterprises irrespective of the sectors they are catering to.
In social accounting, one will set a social objective that complies to the mission of the enterprise, and plan activities that achieve the social objective, while upholding the values of the organization. For each activity planned, social metrics has to be measured that provides feedback about the social impact of the activities when a social audit is conducted. This is the basic idea behind social accounting and auditing. One difference between financial and social accounting is, for the former, quantitative metrics will suffice to accurately assess the financial performance of the enterprise. But for the latter, the both quantitative and qualitative measure has to be captured to assess the social impact.
Social accounting has three steps
- Getting ready: Social accounting is process that has to be assimilated as an inherent part of the social activity and is effective in giving a measure of social impact only in a long term (3 years). So, it is important for the members of the enterprise and stakeholders to understand the importance of the accounting. Steps have to be taken to get everyone’s approval to adopt social accounting as part of the enterprise’s initiatives.
- Social, Economic and environmental planning: We went through a case study of a social enterprise called Good Crafts that trains women from a Mumbai slum in employment related skills like making baskets, wall-hangings, soft-toys etc., and procures their products to sell it in overseas markets and shares the profit with the women. From the case study write-up we identified the
- mission statement of Good Crafts that addresses the purpose for which the organization is formed
Example: Good crafts aims to empower women and thus build sustainable and self-reliant communities in slums of Mumbai.
- the values it has to uphold in the organization as it strives to achieve its mission
Example: Being non-discriminatory to the beneficiaries (slum women), etc
- Objectives that are aligned towards the mission statement and the activities that achieve the objectives
Example: To empower women through training and creating of employment by
a) Providing relevant skill training
b) Encouraging and supporting self-employment
c) Providing crèche facilities for the working women’s children
- Metrics that measure the effectiveness of the activities
a) Number of courses provided (quantitative)
b) Number of self-employed women (quantitative) and how satisfactory to the women is the quality of support provided (qualitative)
c) Number women whose kids are enrolled in the crèche.
During the exercise we learnt that
- the mission statement should be specific, clear and should remain the same through the completion of the project
- each activity taken up must be tied to a specific objective. This is because; the metric that we measure should provide us feedback about the efficacy of the activity in achieving the objective.
- Social Economic and environmental implementation: This amounts to ensuring that relevant metrics are measured and qualitative data collected during the activity. Standard ways of collecting qualitative metrics are focus group discussions, questionnaires, surveys, and analyzing the minutes-of-meetings and status reports
- Social, Economic and environmental auditing: Once the data is collected, a social auditor may audit the accounted metrics to analyze the social, economic and environmental impact that the social enterprise has caused and provide feedback on how much the objectives are achieved. Based on the inputs the implementation strategy may be modified for the better. Then the social audit may be repeated the next cycle to measure the efficacy of the modified strategy. So, the minimum recommended period for the audit is two years.
1. It’s a standard auditing based on a proven model. It can be applied to all sorts of social enterprise, irrespective of their area of interest
2. Scalable: Can be applied to a whole organization or just one program of the organization
3. It is a process. It can accommodate other tools of measurement like “Social return on Investment” within itself to make social auditing complete.
4. Can be used as a strategic tool; can sell the results of the audit to stakeholders and to generate more support (money or the like)
- Need to allocate time, finances and resources
- Inaccuracy of surveys or scanty response to questionnaires
- Long term project, needs change in business model to accommodate the process
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Cross-posted from ThinkChange-India
TC-I Fundwatch has recently reported a Rs. 60-crore investment by Omidyar Network and Unitus Equity Fund (UEF) on Comat technologies, a profitable social enterprise doing business with the rural poor.
The CEO of Comat technologies Sriram Raghavan recently talked to NASSCOM Emerge Blog and offered some good insights into Comat's success in becoming a profitable social business.
Sriram's answer to one question explains the business model of Comat technologies succinctly.
"Q. Your own business is built around the Rural Business Centres. What exactly are these?
SR: It is a very simple concept. The rural business centre is primarily an access point for rural citizens, where we use technology to deliver different kinds of services - only those that help improve the quality of life in villages. We don’t want to sell soaps and consumer goods.
I’ll give you two examples. Take government certificates such as birth, death, land and property related papers. If you have to get one from the taluk or the district office, you have to go to that particular office, wait in a long line and follow cumbersome processes. We deliver it to the village directly – it takes about five minutes for the same cost, i.e., Rs. 15 per certificate. This makes a very big difference to the rural consumer.
The other area we are in is education. There are teachers in rural areas, but the quality of education is very poor. Our centres bring live classes from best teachers in cities who broadcast their lessons online, much like the erstwhile UGC programmes. Except that here, we have two- way interaction and the students and teachers can speak to each other."
Sriram Raghavan also shared a few of his experiences with rural consumers that can come handy to a new social enterprise venturing into the villages.
"In a typical agrarian set up, income generation is a twice-a-year cycle – unlike in urban areas where we earn monthly salaries. It is important to bear this in mind as you have to position your product around this insight."
With a turnover of Rs.55 crore while improving the lives of about 10 million rural inhabitants, there should be little doubt about the success of this unique business model. But the best aspect about the venture is that it has identified one critical handicap of the Indian villages and working successfully towards eliminating it. Better said by the man himself.
"All these years, rural India has been isolated; they have been “informationally disabled”. It is now time for a change and we want to ensure that."
1. Most NGOs overseas average about 51% earned income. The percentage for Indian NGOs is much lower. Earned income is income generated by the NGO. It could be either by
- sales of goods (T-shirts, auction of paintings by hearing-impaired children)
- volunteer activities e.g organizing a qawali nite / music concert
- beneficiary created products (hand made carpets or some other handicraft of a particular community)
At the end of the day it is a person that you are making the appeal to. It may be a foundation that makes grants, or a government body or a corporate that you are seeking funds from, but eventually the pitch is made to a person - for e.g a trustee or board member.
Plan: Research sources - who will you target? Refer to GGCIE. If it is Government what schemes and programmes are available?
V K Puri's "Government funding schemes for NGOs/NPOs in India" lists several hundred schemes and can be very useful resource.
8. A good exercise in planning phase is to project the need over time and match to appropriate sources. For example
9. Objectives of CSR:
- employee motivation and feel good factor
- shared objective e.g KidSmart ?
- good business
- social responsibility
Each was critiqued by Prof Bhargava, pointing out what was good and what needed improvement.
- have facts, clear breakdown of expenses/projected needs
- shows you have done your homework
- have measures or impact - short term/long term, even can mention associated/corollary impact
e.g rehabilitation of street children addicted to drugs will reduce crime in the locality - in 1 year impact can be seen
After the exercise we saw short video where a trustee/grant making body official talked about how they decide and how it is never a cut and dry Yes/NO answer.
- they would want to visit and assess
- they are assessing the individual /invidividuals making the application, what is their credibility, integrity, commitment etc
- the decision takes time and combines several factors
So it is not black and white - yes/no.
We then saw a real proposal example . Hindi Martin Institute and went over its salient points. It was a real life actual proposal that got funding.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
- it still delivers the message
- for once I am glad it didn't since the real scene was terrifying and nauceating (literally one more minute and I would have passed out!)
It happened right outside my residence but on the opposite side of the road, as I was walking home. I just heard the loud crash. But as I crossed the road, I knew that the guy passed out the moment he hit the ground. He was injured in the back of his head and, needless to say, it was profusely bleading.
The only thing that went right was that someone immediately called 108, the ambulence service (one good service for the insane hyderabad traffic). But what went wrong?
- No helmet!
- His companion, who escaped unhurt, had no clue that the first thing to do is to stop the bleeding, nor did the on-lookers. None seemed to have first few minutes after an injury to a vital organ is crucial. That guy basically racing to his death. ZERO AWARENESS OF FIRST-AID! It took another first-aid dumbo to tell him to stop the bleeding.
- The on-going traffic dutifuly stopped to catch a glimpse of the accident and pay "homage" to the hapless victim. The called ambulence can reach to about 100-150m from the victim, but no further. The police was on scene regulating the traffic, but the flow was still slow. In this situation, if you are on scene and if you are not helping, your are hurting!
But he is just one in a billion....a piece of statistic...what is the lesson learnt...right? Look at the picture again...
Identify what your beneficiaries need, sensitize the beneficiaries about their need and your solution, involve the beneficiaries of the social initiative to participate and if possible manage the initiative.The class started off with some basics about project management. It is not only a science, as it involves rational thinking, data analysis and decision-making, but also an art since it involves getting the job done using your wits.
Project planning should be approached from a mixture of top-down and a bottom-up approach. Top-down, as in using "from the book" ideas like management and leadership principles, business models etc. Bottom-up as in getting to know what the beneficiaries (or end users) want and forming strategy based on that.
We moved on to a brief analysis of the difference between a program and a project.
Program: Long-term or on-going activity, continually funded and has regular allocation of budget. Example: National literacy mission
Project: Usually short-term, one-time funding. Usually a program is made up of a lot of projects that achieve the purpose of a program
Following this, we discussed a questionnaire, answering which one may have planned an entire project well considering all aspects and would be ready to hit the road. This took us all the way up to the break and formed a very important learning session of the class (so, don't skip the link!)
During the second half of the session, the instructor presented the way his initiatives in eliminating rural poverty made an impact in the livelihood of the rural society. He devised and designed various initiatives for the benefit of rural poor in various sectors like agriculture, education, micro-finance, health, income generation.
He talked about the federated model of self-help group (summarized by slide-3 of the PDF doc) in Andhra Pradesh, which was a run-away hit in the whole of the country. The success of the model was summarized by the fact that about 42% of all the money allocated by the Indian government is used by AP, while the repayment rate is 98%, unmatched by any other SHG anywhere else. Delegates from other states and even countries like Vietnam visit AP to study the SHG model.
Since this post is not about singing the praise of AP's SHG models, I move beyond to aspects that are common to all the government projects (including SHGs) that he was involved.
- All project involved formation of Village organizations (VOs) which essentially is a representative body of the village. They were legally registered as co-operatives. All SHGs and VO are composed of women from the village
- The relevant govt. representatives train and sensitize them about the need of the co-operative. (If it is agriculture.. training is on retaining profit and eliminating middle-men during procurement... if it is micro-finance, training is on how important savings is etc..)
- Once training is done, the initiative is implemented and the outcomes are measured!
The whole session was finally summarized by the discussion titled "Why do projects succeed?"
highlighting the points user involvement as a participant, continuous funding, Clear understanding of goals, effective planning and setting realistic expectations of scope, quality and time involved.
By the then, we were about half-an-hour past time and we didn't even realized it. (I was especially mesmerized by the facts and figures he presented by the success stories of SERP's rural development initiatives). But he left us with a mention that goals should be SMART
Specific: Well-defined and clear to project managers
Measurable in terms of qualitative parameters
Agreed upon by all stakeholders
Realistic, as in set within the availability of resources
Brief Profile of Mr B. Ravi Shankar
Mr. B. Ravi Shankar has completed Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Applications and also in Management (Rural development) from Xavier’s Institute, Ranchi.
Earlier he worked as a project officer in the Society for Rural Industrialization, Ranchi, Jharkhand, as a Community Coordinator in Girijan Cooperative Corporation, AP, and as a Project Director of Leather Industries Development Corporation of AP. He also has the experience of working in IT sector for sometime. Presently he is the Project Manager of Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP), (IKP-VELUGU project), AP.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Here is one such interview. In BBC's own words..
"Owen Bennett-Jones meets Hugh Herr who lost both his legs below the knee in a mountaineering accident and set out to design his own artifical legs."
After that elaborated on eSafal, a social enterprise that he conceived to provide an IT enabled, integrated approach to making agriculture. He discussed his initiative as a "case study" to provide an idea of what forms a successful social initiative. As part of implementing his process, he identified different aspects involved in this like
1. Investments (seeds, fertilizers) and people involved there
2. Farming techniques
3. Output (and people involved like consumer companies, middlemen).
He came up with a process to train the farmers on improved farming techniques to save on inputs (fertilizers, water), reduce waster (during transportation etc), improve quality of produce (cotton in this case).
He discussed this idea to drive home the following points (at least these are all what I perceived from his example)
- Identify your target beneficiary group in specific. (It may be kids...but are the school children or are they uneducated kids?)
- Identify various aspects involved in your initiative and identify stakeholders in each aspect
- Create a business model which benefits every stakeholder, so that it provides a reason for him/her to invest in it.
- When you identify a problem, track the problem all the way back to its root cause and eliminate the root cause. For example, cotton produced by farmers were contaminated by human and animal hair, threads from dress farmers wear. This costs the cotton buyer a lot of money to improve quality of cotton, he worked to modify the process used for harvesting and transportation of cotton to eliminate contamination at source, which saved a lot of cost to the consumer. This in turn translated to more money for the farmers.
- Remember the triple bottom line Profit, People and Environment. Measure the impact of your social initiative in terms of all the three and and in terms of social impact it has caused (improved standard of living, better education, better soil quality etc.)
- Social Return on Investment.
Based on the conversation, the takeaway from the conversations I had with all of you - to start or be with an NGO - in a nutshell are
- Identify ONE AREA which is your PASSION
- Do complete study on the various aspects of that area chosen and take the best practices already at work in the world…RESEARCH, RESEARCH….
- Do a pilot with a small target group and – check out all the issues, challenges that are being faced…
- DOCUMENT the processes and brainstorm with similar mind set people
- Create a MODEL which is a sustainable one…slightly bigger than the Pilot and showcase the sustainability and the SROI
- Market the Model with a group of investors and make it work
- Scale the area of operations to check out the challenges and issues being faced…
- Document and fine tune the process and market with funding agencies SCALE it up in new areas.. or locations …
- ensure that the community buys in the model,
- train and build capacity in the community that they take over the processes
- The community pays a token amount for the services they get..
- The other stakeholders get value for the investment they make…
- Have everything transparent
- Publicise it through Word of Mouth, Media, different workshops and events…DON’T be shy of talking about it….
Model the social enterprise to benefit each stakeholder, not just the end beneficiaryCalculate the Social Return on InvestmentCreate a process and document it well. Creating a process will help maintain a quality of implementation (the absence of the person who conceived the idea will not compromise the quality of execution). Documentation keeps every one on the same page
Brief Profile of Mr. Ravi Shankar
Mr. Ravi Shankar is a postgraduate in Operations Research and a graduate in Mathematics from University of Delhi, India. Earlier he as a member of senior Management team in Satyam Computer Services and Nagarjuna Fertilizers ltd., Hyderabad.
He is the Creator of eSafal,(a social enterprise based on application of IT in rural development).. He successfully implemented a pilot project on this enterprise in 2005. This model focused on value creation at all levels by participation and involvement of all stake holders. In 2006, this model was judged as the finalist in Global Social Venture Competition. Presently he is consultant to Government Departments and Rural Development Projects. He is also an Advisor to NGOs like Roshan Vikas.
"Fund-raising is not begging...Enjoy fund-raising"
- Money is not in fact never the most important thing.
- Getting too much money is a bigger problem than having no money.
- Streams of income for a sustainable model
- Concentrate on getting money from independent source.
- Vision and mission statement are useless!!! Have a vision of better world and be missionaries!
- Build relationships
- NEVER do fund-raising through email
- NEVER send mail to unknown people
- Rely on telephone/personal meetings
- Parties are effective,invite friends & friends' friends
- Story of Beacon & eggs: involved like the hen and committed like the pig
- Without local support successful org cant survive.involve local people.
- Story of New York beggars.
- Fund-raising is a relief from boredom;helps people to do what they want to do
- www.kivo.org : people helping people
- Convert NO into YES!!!
- Explained some initiatives like dinner@home, hunger banquet
- Individuals & communities as constant source of income.
- Be a donor;he urged SEOP batch to maintain a fund.
A BRIEF PROFILE OF MICHAEL NORTON
Michael Norton is the Honorary Director and a Trustee of CIVA (www.civa.org.uk).
He founded the Directory of Social Change in 1975 and was its Director until 1995. DSC is the UK's leading agency providing information, training and support to voluntary organisations. (www.dsc.org.uk). He co-founded UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs, which received the £100 million Millennium Legacy as an endowment. UnLtd makes awards of up o £20,000 to individuals in the UK who wish to create change in their communities. He chaired the International Year of Volunteers 2001 youth programme for England. He received an OBE in 1998 for services to the voluntary sector.He is the author of numerous books on fund-raising and charitable status including 'Writing Better Fund-raising Applications' , 'The WorldWide Fundraiser's Handbook' , and 'The Complete Fund-raising Handbook' , all published by Directory of Social Change.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Watch it...its awesome!
Be it your office pantry, or a weekend gathering of friends, when you run out of topics to gossip, all you have to do is drop in a word "traffic" and everyone one will suddenly find a story to say and gripe about the anomaly. A few socially active ones among us will take it a little forward by trying to propose a CSR initiative to regulate traffic in an area near the location of their work. But I personally believe that traffic regulation will be ineffective if the initiative doesn't involve the traffic police. I would be even better, if traffic police initiates and leads the initiative...which is why I was pleasantly surprised this morning as I was walking by the Police lines circle, as I watched the traffic police hard at work.
Standing by the sidewalk with my phone-camera, I could see that the police working with maddened determination to three things right the first time and then repeat it throughout the day, hoping to "train" the beast to comply with the order.
- At the whistle, stop behind the stop line. Motorists wishing to take a right, stop to the right side of the road.
- Allow the pedestrians to use the zebra crossing to cross the road
- At the next whistle, allow the traffic flowing straight to go, while holding the traffic flowing right (or take a U-turn).
- At the next whistle (when the traffic on the other side of the road is stopped), allow the held traffic to take a right or U-turn.
Standing there and looking at the constant whistling and frantic gestures of the traffic police, I could realize that this job is so much easier said than done! The police might have chosen today, a holiday due to observance of Id-ul-fitr, to exercise this pilot but the traffic was still huge. Nevertheless, they seemed to have handled the traffic quite well.
But man! it was quite a sight to see vehicles neatly lined up against the stop-line to allow the pedestrians pass without fear of being run over! Finally, one small step towards method in what is the very essence of madness. Hope this pilot doesn't die at infancy, but grows and lives long enough to get into the subconscious mind of the average motorist to prompt him/her to follow the traffic rules.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Bhumi's members Sai and Pallavi (one of CSIMs students too!) greeted us and gave an outline of their flagship Dhronacharya and Ekalavya program (DNE) in which Bhumi trains and deploys volunteers to mentor the school children on a weekly basis on academics and extra-curricular activities. The program seems to spring from the notion that kids in the slum study better when they are exposed to an "elder-brother-cum-role model" who can inspire and provide them a regular learning environment.
Abdul Mujib Khan, one of the founding members of Bhumi, provided a brief account of their history. Rasoolpura, like any other urban slum, faced multiple interlinked problems. Poverty resulting in child labour, in turn resulting in low academic performance and high dropouts. Poor conditions resulting in poor health problems, in turn resulting in loss of wage which compounds the problem of child labour and education. Further, the cynicism of the slum dwellers towards the "outsiders in Proline T-shirts" posed another layer challenge.
To address the first problem, Bhumi has divided its task in Rasoolpura into four domains viz., Livelihood, Education, Healthcare and Water & Sanitation. Then it adopted the then dilapidated Govt. High school. and with funding from Sarva Shikhsa Abhiyan and Hyderabad Round table, they renovated the school, hired teachers and got the school back up and running. This automatically helped Bhumi address the second problem too as the promise kept acted as a good testimony to their commitment to area. With more kids in school on a regular basis, the DNE program was launched in an effort to improve the pass percentage (then a dismal 13%) among 10th std kids. To improve the livelihood, Bhumi used the trust built to constitute about 6 self-help groups among the womenfolk (headed by a slum-dweller named Razia).
A crucial aspect that needs addressing in improving this society, they said, is the mentality slum-dwellers towards the SHG in general and using the loaned money in particular. As expected, the primary modes of income to people in the slum are fruit and vegetable hawking, house-help, working as a driver or running an autorickshaw. Since the livelihood is always hand-to-mouth, the mentality to save and planning for the longer term was lacking and took repeated counselling to attain a decent awareness level present now. Further, when Razia tried to spread the idea of forming a "group" the first question they usually asked was "How much money will I get?".
Bhumi is also involved in improving the other dimensions of the problem that affects education. Health. One school of thought suggests that children brought up with inadequate nutrition till the age of 5 show learning disabilities that affect them for the rest of their life. They took the initiative to bring in some students of medicine to conduct "Bailey's test" and found that about 20% of them fail the test. However, since medical treatment needs to be sustained over a long term for improvement, it is challenging to keep the respective families interested.
With the slum-dwellers increasingly placing their trust on them, Bhumi is also working on slowly training and transfering the control of their initiatives to the local slum-dwellers, though this seems to be a long objective.
A few other takeaways from the field visit
Their initiatives, especially with respect to education, are modeled in such a way that it can be "sold" to the government to adopt as an accepted model of education (am a bit confused about this, asked for clarification, will update!)Bhumi seems to have extensively used the help of CSIM, who I have found myself are larger directory of contacts than "YellowPages" if you are a social entrepreneur. They have also helped Bhumi is redesigning their DNE mentoring program.Most of their successful initiatives have been field tested on a smaller scale (say, applied to a smalller section of the slum) and then have been scaled up. Probably a good point to remember.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Father of Contemporary Communication – Wilber Scram
He coined the below formula of communication: SMCNRF
Sender Message Channel Noise Receiver Feedback
Different types of communication:
Communication the ART is primarily a collective cultural process.
Communication the SCIENCE is a research driven consultative process involving planning design & implementation of strategic interventions.
Dimensions of Communication
1. Soft Skills
2. Business Communication
3. Mass Communication
4. Communication Management
5. Professional Communication
Father of Management – Peter Drucker
1. Soft skills : People skills/life skills/transfer skills/social skills
2. Hard skills: Technical skills/Occupational skills
Dimensions of Soft skills
1. Personal Competence
1. Self Awareness
1. Emotional Awareness
2. Accurate Self Assessment
3. Self Confidence
2. Self Management
1. Self Control
1. Achievement driven
2. Social Competence
1. Serve Others
2. Understand others
3. Develop others
4. Leverage diversity
5. Political Awareness
2. Social skill
3. Conflict Management
5. Change Catalyst
6. Building bonds
7. Collaboration & Cooperation
8. Team Capabilities
· 3Ps – Power ,Profit & Pleasure
· Life is business – Peter Drucker
1. Media writings
2. Media Productions
3. Media Research
4. Media Ethics
5. Media Management
2. Public Relations
3. Market Research
4. Corporate Communication
5. Brand Management
6. Event Management
1. Invisible Competency
Visible competency is knowledge & skills
1. Attitudinal Traits – Attitude is mindset by Peter Drucker.
2. Behavioral traits
3. Character – combination of principles, values, ethics &habits
4. Talents – Interest & Aptitude
7. Flair – Unique/novel/appealing style
8. Culture – fit
2. Thinking skills
5. Decision making
6. Problem solving
Saturday, September 06, 2008
- Societies or associations
- Section 25 companies
- Always have a fixed number of trustees (though not necessarily the same people)
- Trustees can't be beneficiaries, but can draw salary for services rendered by applying specific skill set. For example, a trustee who is a CA can draw salary for taking care of the trusts finances.
- Only one governing body.
- Members can be added
- Members can be beneficiaries (as in area welfare associations)
- There is a govrening body that governs the society, but doesn't take part in policy-making and a general body that makes policy and to which the rest of the members belong.
- have a social objective
- be run as a non-profit company (can earn profits but should be used in full towards the social objective)
Friday, September 05, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
1. Another perspective
2. Social sector
4. In class innovation
The class began with the emphasis that Individuals can make a difference.
Before the discussion of the items on the agenda, we had a short discussion on plastics and its environmental impact in which professor Bhargava indicated (at least my perception) that recycling is not will not avoid or reduce environmental impact of non-recyclable materials.
1. Innovation: Another perspective
Answered the question "What is innovation?"
Discussed a scenario that forced innovation.
Scenario: A hotel with malfunctioning air-conditioner and an ineffective fan. The room is infested with mosquitoes. There is a 60-watt bulb. There is a mosquito mat, but no matches or any other source of fire. How to use the mat to find a solution to the mosquito-problem that lasts till morning.
Solution: One can use the 60-watt bulb as a source of heat. But it is too hot to be used directly and the mat won't last till morning. So, a one-rupee coin can be balanced on the bulb with the mosquito mat placed on top.
My inference: Innovation is a practical solution to solve a problem at hand using available resources, that need not be meant to address the problem at hand.
Innovation also the need to emphasize lateral-thinking. As an example of lateral-thinking we saw videos of ads by Coca-cola and Pepsi
2. Social Sector - Triple bottom-line
Social sector shares a lot of similarities with for-profit sectors. A list is as under
- Resource management
- Customer (beneficiary) satisfaction
3. Examples of innovation in Social sector:
Few examples in different categories of social sectors were discussed
Amul, a mik co-operative, that mobilized individual milk-men to form a co-operative to find a way to get more returns. Karsan bhai also started a CSR initiative, by which the members of Amul invest a small portion of their earnings towards building health infrastructure.
Grameen Bank's Micro loans initiative for the poorest
The instructor didn't name the company based in Bangalore, but highlighted the innovation for tackling the attrition problem. They identified that attrition becomes a problem only when timely replacements are not available. The company studied the background of those who leave the company and found that a majority is from Bihar. So, they targeted the exiting employees from Bihar and asked them to get one person from his village and train him/her thus taking care not only timely replacement but also overlapping the training time.
Big shoe bazaar
Shoes of size 11 or above don't sell much, hence aren't stocked by many of the showrooms. Bigshoebazaar.com connects the demand for big shoes to the supply (tie-ups will all the shoe companies) for which the latter provide a discount. This provides a winning situation for companies (big shoes are sold more), and customers (they find the shoe of their size with much less hassle!) while earning money out of it (a share in the discount!)
National Innovations Foundation: A compendium of rural innovations
4. In-class innovation
The instructor divided us into groups of two and asked us to identify a social problem, propose an innovative solution and identify the tangible benefits of the solution.
One group identified the lack of teaching talent in government school. To combat that problem, they proposed a teacher's training institute close to the locality of the school, channelize students who have completed 10th stds to the institute. That was voted the most innovative and effective idea of all the proposed ideas (for which the team got a large bar of chocolate).
As a prescription for innovation in social sector, the instructor highlighted the importance of
- community involvement and promote self-reliance (exit strategy for the NGOs after providing solutions)...
can't stay forever to maintain the solution, and that the beneficiaries
need to take ownership of the solutions. Being associated with Byrraju Foundation, he pointed efforts taken by the foundation in this direction
- Innovation for a purpose, than for the sake of innovation
When you hit upon an idea, do some research to find if anyone has hit upon the same idea and has gone a certain disatance. It gives an opportunity to learn the easier way and introduces a potential partner.Be open to borrowing best-practices from the for-profit sector. For-profit is not necessarily against non-profit. Just the purpose is different. So there is a lot of scope for common interest.
Harsh is an Engineering graduate from BITS, Pilani and M Tech from IIT, Kanpur besides MMS from Osmania University. For over three decades he was involved in institution building, outsourcing management and indigenous design, development and implementation of embedded real time systems in various capacities in Indian Navy. Widely traveled, Harsh is a keen environmentalist who gives his time for social causes. He has edited 7 books in the areas of Business Process Outsourcing, Rural Transformation, NGOs and Virtual Leadership.