Today, our funding strategy officer, Mark Roberts, gives an update on our very productive India Strategy Day held a few weeks back:
On an exceptionally sunny day, all too welcome after the wet and windy summer that has prevailed so far here in the UK, the lovely garden where we held part of our strategy meeting provided the perfect backdrop to cultivating Jeevika’s plans for the next three years.
Everyone from the UK team was there along with Jenny Rogers, our new volunteer who was very ably facilitating the day, and Priya Anand (who manages and supports our work in India) who joined us by Skype from Bangalore, India.
Apart from enjoying the birds, bees, rabbits and nesting wood pigeon along with the trees and flowers in full summer blossom, what did we achieve? During the day everyone worked hard labouring over flip-chart paper and overheads, both in small group discussions and open meetings in true planning day style.
The main themes from the meeting were about developing our livelihood model and conditions for livelihood such as water and sanitation set alongside human rights, equality for women, those with disabilities and with HIV/AIDS. We celebrated good relationships and the commitment that we have from all our partners and agreed that the stakeholder workshops help to bond our partnerships and they should be developed further.
Some of the challenges we faced were gaps in funding particularly for smaller partners, which then has an impact on their ability to implement their plans consistently. We realised we need to invest more in capacity building with greater support from JT in order to strengthen management systems that better demonstrate our impact in India to our funders.
Opportunities for the future included developing a stronger business and enterprise model (transition from production to enterprise) for our livelihood work, and being more ambitious in our partnerships, i.e. creating a stronger ‘Jeevika Umbrella’ to link and unite them.
- We need to diversify and pursue “R & D,” seeking to apply a wider range of ‘appropriate technologies’, including the use of new technology which we feel Schumacher himself would have embraced.
- We need to grow and develop our portfolio of livelihood opportunities.
- We also need to disseminate knowledge more widely by looking for new allies, particularly through a stronger tri-sector (business, government, third sector) approach.
It was an excellent day which gave us new inspiration for our work and it will be followed up with a second strategy day to look at our UK operations and how we move forward with expanding our capacity, resources and plans for the future.
Further details of our new strategic plan will be available soon but if you have any questions, thoughts or comments, please get in touch!
First image used courtesy of Simon Funk.