Professional Leadership

[toggle title=”What is a primary purpose of professional leadership program?”] This is our intermediate website which precedes our new (in progress) website, that is a collaborative open source platform to inspire, collaborate and empower social sector. ICA has been searching for a best way to engage social sector in India and create right impact in India.  They have a more than 4 decade of experience and connection with India’s development center.   However, as times have changed we would like to create an open source platform to engage right set of social partners (NGOs and Social Enterprises) and US professionals. Some of the pressing work background is described here and you can find more details about some of the emerging roles here.

ICA aims to inspire professional who have spent decent time in corporate world or students specializing in social entrepreneurship, design or international development. Our main aim is to engage young, ideal, and professional in finding sustaining solutions for development sector.  Several US-based professionals with a previous start-up, energy institution, semiconductor industry and healthcare solutions went to India this winter to visit SEWA and other leading organizations.   And they found the answer – “The best way to use their knowledge would be to allow these leading organizations and help them succeed instead of creating any new models”.  Social sectors need lot of selfless givers who should use their professional skills to redesign their social operations to be competitive. Human centric design can play a very important role – case in example “Aravind Eye as a world’s best business case of compassion”.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Is Indians For Collective Action for Indians Only?”]

Absolutely not. Service has no boundaries. The word “Indians” is mainly to create a focused based approach to alleviate poverty in India. Time and time again we have seen people making solutions in island and frequently creating a solution that has limited impact. We appreciate everyone from different spectrum and ideas to come collective action movement.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”How can I join ICA as a partner and how can I benefit?”] ICA for many years have supported many organization to develop their mission, vision, volunteer management, structure, non-profit status, fund raising and donation transfer. If you are a new organization that focuses on mission aligned with ICA, you should not start your approach at once. Instead, ICA recommends that you first build a clear mission which takes several years. Meanwhile, you can work with ICA to compliment your other competing needs. In fact, we are rolling out a new structured program that calls “Friends Of …” equivalent of building organization specific chapter in US. ICA is building a series of tools for online goal management, fund raising, volunteer management and social media strategy. By working with ICA, you will be able to get your operations started earlier.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”I am India based social organization. How can we work together?”] ICA over last 43 years have generously supported 400 NGOs and we have a very unique success stories. Time has changed now and funding is always needed. We have found that many of the organizations that we have supported continue to have a funding needs by primarily devoting on most of time in serving their members (which obviously has to be a priority) but at the expense of not giving enough attention to operational excellence and self sustainability.  Though reasons vary with each organizations, we hope that pro bono professionals from US can fill this gap by initially providing an access to the marketing, design, technology, management or strategic planning. We also can additionally reach out to many professionals in various verticals to help develop your operational vision. This program will allow you to request in-kind “pro bono” service instead of funding. This program has not been fully operational and will take few more months, you can read our description of how we work with SEWA and if you have something similar need in mind, please feel free to write an inspirational background of your organization and describe why such services would be very useful to you. We believing a co-designing is a best way to solve some of the most difficult challenges. Please send your details by e-mail to Unmesh Sheth or request to write directly in TEAM BLOG by registering here.
[/toggle]

Our first partner SEWA

Self Employed Women‟s Association (SEWA) is a member-based organization of poor self-employed women workers. It has a membership of 1.36 million women across 7 states, almost half of which is from rural Gujarat. It is an organization of poor, self-employed women workers. These are women who earn a living through their own labor or small businesses, and are unable to obtain regular salaried employment with welfare benefits like workers in the organized sector. They are the unprotected labor force of the country, constituting 93% of the labor force. Of the female labor force in India, more than 94% are in the unorganized sector. However their work is not counted and hence remains invisible. In fact, women workers themselves remain uncounted,

Objectives of SEWA: The objectives of SEWA are Self-Reliance & Full Employment for its members. Self-reliance means that women should be autonomous and self-reliant, individually and collectively, both economically and in terms of their decision-making ability.

Full employment means employment whereby workers obtain work security, income security, food security, and social security (at least health care, child care and shelter). SEWA organizes women to ensure that every family obtains full employment. For over 3 decades, SEWA has been working with its rural members to help them improve their livelihood through various initiatives in technical training, microfinance, market linkages and natural resource management, across a number of trades. SEWA adopts an integrated approach towards its members.

Challenge:   Be a pioneer in defining learn at your pace platform.

SEWA Ni Manager’s School till today has trained over 7 million SEWA members on different subjects. This is a phenomenal numbers and it speaks to need for internal and external training demand from women members. In addition, SEWA is also in process of exploring alternative education to make class room. Though not confirmed, SEWA works with about 100 elementary class rooms.

The use of E-learning platforms in education is a growing field and offers a novel approach in teaching skills. Two platforms in contact with ICA are Gooru and iEinstein, and SEWA has already has an agreement with Gooru to implement a program in Jeevanshalas. ICA has proposed a joint pilot project to implement both Gooru and iEinstein in selected SEWA schools in Ahmedabad. The program is still in the process of defining iEinstein’s objectives, Gooru’s objectives and SEWA’s evaluation criteria. This pilot program offers the opportunity for capacity-building by training teachers to use these platforms, and then gauging the efficacy of such programs. The pilot is also an opportunity to troubleshoot any concerns with the E-learning platforms before they are expanded to other SEWA schools or elementary schools. Such a program will be a useful exercise for participants to understand the benefits and drawbacks of an E-learning system from the perspective of the teachers and students involved.

The Role:

US Based : Create a framework for eLearning Effectiveness

Period: March – June 2012

Overall Commitment of Time: Flexible

Location: Virtual

Create eLearning effectiveness platform for education of 6-7 grade class room students.
• Setup Gooru platform
• Identify clear gaps in the content – develop approach to clearly document a gap between current text book and content in the video selected for a class room.
• Review potential solutions to reduce a gap
• Create a process or find open source volunteer management services which can do a translation to Gujarati.
• If necessary create an incentive programs and marketing approach for volunteers to do translation at a reasonable cost.
• Identify VOICE OVER platform so that volunteers can do translation
• Create a translation review process
• Create content selection process
• For SEWA Ni Manager’s School (SMS) – a large women’s training program, work with SEWA to create a priority content.
• Identify relevant content from search engine as GOORU doesn’t support this kind of content at the moment

India Based : Create a framework for eLearning Effectiveness

Period: June 2012 – December 2012

Overall Commitment of Time: On Site (must be willing to spend at least 8-10 weeks)

Location: Ahmedabad, India

Train teachers to use the Gooru and iEinstein platforms, and then take surveys of teachers and students to monitor their views about the platforms. You will also help troubleshoot any problems that may arise when implementing the platforms, in conjunction with an ICA-hired IT employee. By the end of his involvement, you will analyze the surveys he receives and provide data regarding the perceived efficacy of the program. You will then provide the raw data and final report to SEWA to help the organization evaluate its pilot program.

If you have a strong background in IT and interested in creating a cutting edge solution and solve some of the most important challenge, please read in. RUDI is a distributionchannelfor agricultural products that is managed by 3,000 women in 14 districts across Gujarat. Hariyali is a new program aimed at creating a micro finance and distribution network for livelihood programs. Membership Management is a core infrastructure service that SEWA relies to get profile information about member.

Role: If you have previously played a role of Business Analyst or Program Manager, be part of a team for defining truly unique solutions.

SEWA has 1.4 members, a very large list of national and international development organizations, customer base, training program and potential employees. SEWA needs to create a new website development.

Role: Requirement Analysis

If you are in researching and collecting requirements, you will be responsible for to work with various groups within SEWA and map it to different target audience. You will define most appropriate
template before you initiate the work.

Expected Period of effort: 3-6 weeks

Role: Website Designer

If you are a technical person with a prior experience with web design you will use well packaged wordpress based well designed theme and plug-in to design the code in an iterative fashion.

Required Skills Are:

– Solid understanding of WordPress including past experience with Graphics Design
– Solid understanding of design awareness and demonstrated a good design website
– We will be building series of services which will automate website and donation management capabilities.
– If you are motivated enough, we would also like to build eCommerce functionality for SEWA’s premium Hansiba brand using OpenCart
– Knowledge of PHP, Java Scripting would be a plus
– Migrating some website to a new website

This person will also will help us with eLearning platform after June. In this role he/she will help us build a voice over integration, deploy necessary bandwidth such as wireless devices for connectivity for eLearning platform and

Expected Period of effort: 1-3 months

Role: Research Analyst

ICA’s key mentors are actively engaging with SEWA’s Hariyali Program. ICA would like to work with SEWA to create a sustainable energy base innovation lab.. Though our work is still in the early phase, we would like invite potential research analyst to help us arrive at our ultimate goal:

  • Document experience with various vendors and define best practices
  • Challenges of improving each
  • Standard needs
  • How can this standards be adopted by other key players?
  • Cost of building testing labs
We are building templates and research analysis process to arrive at some of the clear need for above challenges.