Our Support to Non-profit Organisations (II)

Our Support to Non-profit Organisations (II)

At the start of the COVID crisis, we rapidly evolved to provide immediate support by assessing on-ground realities and some of our early initiatives included building an Information Repository to connect organisations offering/ seeking help on a macro-level and propelling last-mile efforts across healthcare, safety, prevention, awareness, and economic support by working with governments, donors, and other social organisations. As the pandemic progressed, we acknowledged the need for a sustainable ideology in supporting the ecosystem to balance near-term action with long-term transformation. To help actualize the optimistic aspects of the crisis, we adopted the novel MAP framework – Mitigate risks for sustainability, Adapt programs for achieving outcomes, and Pivot to meet emerging needs.

Over the year, a majority of our work has focused on institutional challenges such as: a) building resilient organisations, b) adapting programs to the new normal by re-looking at program design and delivery, c) exploring fundraising strategies to create financially sustainable organisations, and d) exploring new ways of data collection and monitoring.

Building capabilities in government education systems
Sattva is engaged as the strategic partner with one of the largest nonprofits in India working on Education for building leadership capacity in the government education system towards improving learning outcomes. Sattva supported the non-profit as it scaled its reach from 1000 schools to 600,000 schools across the country over 3 years. Sattva specifically engaged on the overall organizational 5-year strategy, program strategy, technology integration through focused last mile applications, and monitoring and evaluation frameworks. Currently, we are focusing on designing, building and deploying technology solutions for school, community and the government to improve educational outcomes across aspirational districts. The engagement had an overall impact on 57 million students, ~42,000 government officials, and 6 lakh schools, across 12 states and 25 districts.

Event on Children’s Education in the Post-COVID World
Sattva partnered with a leading non-profit focused on girls’ education and children’s literacy in Asia and Africa to co-design and curate a virtual event on International Literacy Day, 2020. The non-profit has conducted annual conferences to generate awareness and stimulate deeper conversations about foundational literacy and gender equality for years. Due to COVID-19, a virtual event titled – ‘Navigating Learning for Children in a World with New Normal’ was set up with Sattva as a Knowledge Partner, providing support in terms of execution, management, and design, to curate meaningful conversations around foundational literacy. The intended outcomes of the virtual event involved:

1. Generating awareness on the current state and importance of foundational literacy
2. Expanding participants’ understanding on social innovations in foundational literacy in context of National Education
3. Launching of a Literacy Cloud platform that promotes access and exchange of literary resources among children

Revolutionising the sphere of public healthcare
Aiming to achieve the triple objective of enabling universal access to public healthcare, improved quality and experience of patients and reducing the cost of health care, one of India’s largest non-profit organizations in the field of public healthcare embarked upon a journey to create an integrated beneficiary focused Longitudinal Electronic Health Records technology platform. The platform was created as a public good to deliver primary healthcare by making it affordable, accessible and available. Sattva is currently supporting the client across the key areas of outreach, engagement and product deployment, strengthening the governance for development, and refining the overall strategy for the initiative. This engagement is focused on ensuring the adoption of the public healthcare platform within the ecosystem by rapid deployment of the same across 25 aspirational districts and by achieving complete saturation across 3 states in phase 1.

Cohort-based Capacity Building Program
We partnered with a non-profit affiliate of MacArthur Foundation, with the mission to unlock philanthropic capital and accelerate social change, on a cohort-based capacity building program for 25+ non-profit organisations in India. The program is intended to strengthen the institutional resilience of organisations and the cohort will be supported through a variety of mediums such as webinars, workshops, mentorship and 1:1 advisory support, with a focus on peer learning.

Sattva’s Diagnostic Tool for Organisations
Sattva’s Organisation Diagnostic Tool has been developed to help reflect and evaluate an organization’s institutional readiness on its trajectory to scale. It has been conceptualised on the belief that institutional strengths and weaknesses have a significant impact on organisational outcomes, and thus it is important to evaluate them as part of the overall strategy requirement. The tool covers 40+ parameters such as vision of the organization, clarity of 3-5 year strategy, strength of programs, transparency in internal and external communications, clarity of outcomes, efficacy of the M&E systems, and ability to engage/ leverage the Board.

Key features:
– Structured as a 5-point scale online survey, in which respondents have to choose an option which best indicates the organization’s current state across the listed parameters
– Can be administered with unlimited number of internal stakeholders across designations and functions to get an unbiased and holistic perspective on the organization’s strengths and weaknesses
– Data-led insights from the tool are used to a) validate qualitative interviews and b) inform the fundraising strategy for the organization

Our support to non-profit organisations (I)

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Sattva has been working with various non-profits and social organisations as well as corporate clients to help them define their social impact goals. Our focus is to solve critical problems and find scalable solutions. We assist organisations in formulating their long-term social impact strategy by strategically aligning with business to provide meaningful solutions to social issues.

If you have any such stories or ideas to share, please write to us: impact@sattva.co.in

The FCRA Amendment Act 2020 – a Ready Reckoner

The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) Amendment Act, 2020 – a Ready Reckoner

Background and Context

The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act has its origins in 1976 during the Emergency. It was essentially meant to keep a check on foreign influence in social, political, economic, and religious discussions in India.

The 1976 Act allowed non-profits to freely receive foreign donations, although they were required to report the amount received and spent each year. In 1984, the law was made stricter by making it mandatory for non-profits to register before receiving any foreign donations. They could also not pass on that money to other non-profits who were not registered.

In 2010, the 1976 Act was repealed and replaced by an even stricter law – Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (2010 Act) along with the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011 (2011 Rules) read with and other notification / orders etc., issued thereunder from time to time.

Recent Amendments under the FCRA Amendment Act, 2020
On 20th September, the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 (2020 Amendments) was introduced in Lok Sabha that broadly redefined terms related to acceptance, transfer, and utilisation of foreign contributions under the 2010 Act. The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on 21st September and subsequently by Rajya Sabha on 23rd to ratify it.

We have created a ready reckoner for corporates, funders and non-profits that breaks down some of the key questions and implications of the amendments.

Disclaimer: This document is an interpretation of the recent amendments to the Act and its implications. It is not a legal document.

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Sattva has been working with various corporates, non-profits and social organisations to help them define their social impact goals. Our focus is to solve critical problems and find scalable solutions. We assist organisations in formulating their long-term social impact strategy by strategically aligning with business to provide meaningful solutions to social issues.

If you have any inputs, comments or suggestions on the FCRA Amendments Act 2020, or on our document, please write to us: impact@sattva.co.in

Education Circle

About the Education Circle

In light of the impact of COVID-19 crisis on children’s education across the country, the Education Circle was created as a voluntary collective of non-profits to:

– Identify high priority focus areas for the ecosystem to reimagine a new normal of education transformation
– Identify actionable solutions and approaches that can be deployed by government at scale
– Enabling on ground transformation of the solutions by the practitioners

The non-profits which are part of the Education Circle work across multiple states in India and collectively impact more than 5 million children. The nonprofits engage teachers, community, parents, children, government, and other NGOs to execute various kinds of interventions focused on education such as training, capacity building, content development, building life skills and advocacy.

Key Priority areas for Re-Imagining Education in the New Normal
Over the last 6-8 weeks, Sattva facilitated the Education circle with 13 nonprofits and practitioners organised as 3 Working Groups wherein they collectively problem-solved for reimagining education for children in the new normal. The outcomes notes of the Working Groups are intended for use by the government for enabling policy action as well as for the ecosystem practitioners for on-ground action.

Return to School – Guidelines for planned reopening by enabling preparedness of schools and stakeholders
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, “Return to School – Guidelines for planned reopening by enabling preparedness of schools and stakeholders” aims to support the planning of school reopening by creating stakeholder centric strategies for ensuring maximum return of students to schools safely.

Technology based blended education delivery for children
This outcome note highlights the challenges faced by the children during the pandemic due to unplanned emphasis on technology driven education and recommends a framework for blended learning approach to strategically prepare schools to face any such disruptions in the future.

Reimagined Learning Framework – a practitioner lens to future of learning in post COVID world
Through this outcome note, the practitioners emphasise that the objective is not only to enable return of children to schools but to redefine the curricular and pedagogical elements of effective institutional education. The participants of this Working Group of the Education Circle have co-created a learning framework to provide a foundational base to upcoming pilot models in school by both the government bodies and the ecosystem.

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Sattva has been working with various non-profits and social organisations as well as corporate clients to help them define their social impact goals. Our focus is to solve critical problems and find scalable solutions. We assist organisations in formulating their long-term social impact strategy by strategically aligning with business to provide meaningful solutions to social issues.

If you have any such stories or ideas to share, please write to us: impact@sattva.co.in

How to Adapt and Pivot your Programmes

How to Adapt and Pivot your Programmes

COVID-19 has caused a significant disruption in the social sector. With the country going in and out of lockdowns, field operations for most on-ground implementers can become sporadic and irregular. While nonprofit leaders act swiftly to mitigate the more immediate risks to financial sustainability and well-being of staff, they also need to think quickly on their feet and show the way forward to their organisation. Needs on the ground and the associated long-term solutions are continuing to evolve with many examples of nonprofits responding found through Sattva’s #agilityinadversity series. As leaders face these situations, it is only natural that they ask themselves some tough questions.

– Is our work and mission still relevant to the needs of our stakeholders?
– What are the current limitations that disrupt our delivery?
– What are the current focus areas that have become important?
– What are the emerging needs that our plans do not address?

Nonprofits need a plan to steer through the rough seas, bringing clarity and revisiting relevance in order to adapt and pivot their current programs. To do this, organisations should consider evaluating their ongoing programs along three parameters:

1. Disruption
Start with listing all limitations that currently impact the delivery of your program. Restricted mobility in the field, closing down of schools, non-availability of funds for initiatives, lack of technology integration to reach the last mile, etc. Creating a full list of such disruptions help you visualise the new playing field. As you do this, also list down the different solutions to these like leveraging technology, creating a cadre of on-ground community stakeholders, revisiting delivery models, etc.

2. Relevance
While all needs are relevant, it is important to critically assess this as every organisation has a fixed pie of resources and investments required to adapt. For example, a parent-focused early education service may be more relevant than before, while engagement with school SMCs may be less relevant. Assessing closely the relevance of program components will help you figure your priorities sharply.

3. Emerging needs
Lastly, organisations need to recognise any emerging needs on the ground. While your organisation is disrupted, so are the lives of the people you serve. It is, hence, important to keep an ear to the ground and understand the needs of your customer base, in the immediate term as well as in the mid-term and the long-term. The priorities and needs of people are continuously shifting in today’s environment, and so these needs can be moving targets. For example, the need for mental health support has increased significantly, so has the risk of gender-based violence. MSMEs need to quickly adopt COVID-19 safe service and digital payments. In some areas, practices like child marriage may be on the rise, and in others, school dropouts may be increasing. Whatever be your context, diving deep to learn the needs of your customers, across time horizons, is critical more than ever.

How to adapt your programmes?

To determine your response to each of your programs or interventions, look at their extent of the disruption and relevance on two axes. Those programs or interventions that have high relevance and low disruption during the pandemic need amplification, while others that are highly disrupted and less relevant now should be scaled back. Any disrupted programs or interventions that remain, roughly, as relevant as they were before COVID-19 should be the focus of adaptation. This may come in various mediums from changing delivery models to using digital technology to driving hyper-local delivery through a team of local volunteers. See Figure 1 for an overview of response themes.

Let’s look at an example of how to apply this framework to plan your adaptation. Here, we have considered an organisation that focuses on improving learning outcomes for children at government schools. The NGO offers a multitude of programs – from remedial support, mental health counseling, English and Computer training, parent engagement to skill based support. In the current crisis, reprioritising these offerings becomes critical to ensure efforts are focused in the right direction given fixed resources. Each program is mapped against the two parameters to help propose action based on resource limitation. This ensures that the core offering of the organisation and its focus on learning continues while the ancillary support areas are either maintained, scaled back or adapted to the current scenario.

How to pivot your interventions?

In order to act on unmet emerging needs of customers, organisations must pivot. In other words, they need to make the use of their existing or latent capabilities and freed-up resources in the best possible manner. There are five steps to achieving this:

1. Identify emerging needs – As covered above, the key here is to keep your ears to the ground and really understand your customers’ changing priorities across different time horizons. You can do this by conducting primary research with key relevant stakeholders via phone or video calls. Complement this with secondary research on trends in India and globally to understand needs on-the-ground in your relevant communities and at the ecosystem level.

2. Identify solutions – Next, think about how you can leverage your institutional expertise and capabilities to address any of these needs. This will need you to sort through adjacencies of your focus areas and delivery models. E.g. If you typically focus on capability building in Anganwadis, can your last-mile support parents in home-based learning, or support Anganwadi workers in continued immunisation.

3. Define a delivery model – While creating a pivot strategy needs innovative thinking, the execution needs a cautious thought. You have to ensure that your delivery is COVID-19 resilient and does not put any actor in harm’s way. More often than not, this will mean using existing technology wherever possible, e.g. using Whatsapp for sharing diagnostic information, or direct video consultation with front-line health workers. You may also tap into existing community assets in new ways, e.g. loudspeaker announcements from panchayats, which may have been rarely done earlier.

4. Design a pilot – Before taking any model to the ground broadly, it’s best to run a small pilot of an appropriate size. Designing your revised Theory of Change becomes critical here. Start with defining the impact you intend to create and the specific outcomes you would like to drive to achieve this impact. Then, work backwards from the outcomes. The outputs that each of your interventions drive must be aligned to one or more of these outcomes. Key is to keep these as easily measurable as possible.

5. Build measurable routines – Once the pilot finalised, define what data will you collect and at what intervals. Setting this routine will be important to identify weaknesses and make timely course corrections to ensure success of the program. Concurrent Monitoring & Evaluation systems will be important to continuously feed in learnings into program design for continuous strengthening.

Given the on-going disruptions, it is more important than ever to revisit the relevance of current programs, adapt to become COVID resilient and at times pivot to emerging needs on-the-ground. We are still in the earlier stages of the crisis, and it is important to reassess at the appropriate frequency as the landscape continues to evolve. Consciously optimising for impact given available funding and resources will help organisations remain mission-focused while navigating through the ever changing landscape.

Read more:
Agility in Adversity – An ongoing series of stories on nonprofit organisations who have adapted or pivoted successfully
How to ensure financial sustainability during COVID-19 – The first part of this article series on Sattva’s MAP framework

Do more:
– To learn more about Sattva’s MAP framework (mitigating institutional risks, adapting programmes, and pivoting to emerging needs on the ground), reach out to covid19response@sattva.co.in.
– Look at scenario planning for your non-profit at the link here.

This article is a part of a two part series on Sattva’s MAP (Mitigate-Adapt-Pivot) framework. You can read the first part on mitigating the challenge of financial sustainability here.
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Sattva has been working with various non-profits and social organisations as well as corporate clients to help them define their social impact goals. Our focus is to solve critical problems and find scalable solutions. We assist organisations in formulating their long-term social impact strategy by strategically aligning with business to provide meaningful solutions to social issues.

If you have any such stories or ideas to share, please write to us: impact@sattva.co.in

Our Support to Non-profits

Our Support to Non-profits

In light of these unprecedented times, Sattva has been constantly evolving its support to help non-profits mitigate institutional risks, adapt existing programmes and pivot their focus inline with the COVID-19 reality. In the last few months, a majority of our work has focused on institutional challenges such as: a) building resilient organisations, b) adapting programs to the new normal by re-looking at program design and delivery, c) exploring fundraising strategies to create financially sustainable organisations, and d) exploring new ways of data collection and monitoring.

Impact model optimisation
We engaged with a leading gender based non-profit to revisit a previously defined five-year strategy for their work in fighting violence against women and girls. In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we calibrated a thorough one-year strategy and operational plan for the organisation, helping them enhance their response to the community and leverage emerging opportunities.

Cohort based Accelerator program for Impact
We have partnered with Lever for Change, an affiliate of MacArthur Foundation, on ‘Accelerate for Impact Initiative’ – a cohort-based capacity building program for 25+ nonprofit organisations in India. The program is intended to strengthen the institutional resilience of organisations and the cohort will be supported through a variety of mediums such as webinars, workshops, mentorship and 1:1 advisory support, with a focus on peer learning.

Evaluating the role of Ed-tech in improving spoken English
We partnered with Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to evaluate the effectiveness of ed-tech leveraged models to improve spoken English across 14,000 students over two years. We hope our insights will provide relevant answers as technology solutions gain increased attention and adoption among colleges, skill development institutions and other social impact programmes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exploring innovative fundraising strategies
With the current COVID-19 situation and its implications looming over our heads, financial sustainability and fundraising has been a major concern. To support both funders and NGOs to explore innovative fundraising tools, Sattva launched a research report and a toolkit on ‘Matching Contributions in India’. The 2-part reader a) provides a step-by-step guide for NGOs on executing matching campaigns and b) highlights successful match-based giving models through case studies on corporates and family foundations.

Future of Impact Collaborative
We are fortunate to be a part of the ‘Future of Impact Collaborative’, an initiative to support social impact organisations through resources to adapt to the changing work climate, webinars, and curated mentoring sessions, facilitated by a variety of impact-based organisations including Sahayog Foundation, ATMA, Arthan, Subu & Rakshit, Aria Advisory, Bridgespan, and A.T.E. Chandra Foundation. You can view the open source resource bank here.

Financial inclusion and organisation sustainability at Charcha 2020
We hosted the Financial Inclusion track at “charcha 2020” – a platform launched by The/Nudge Foundation. The sessions covered financial agency for women, innovations for inclusive digital finance, MSMEs in a post-covid world and the role of effective social protection. The organisation sustainability session focused on using a scenario planning approach to review and adapt programs along with exploring ways to engage with the ecosystem.

Funder roundtables on livelihood development
We are leveraging our experience and expertise to build solutions across certain focus areas with the aim of addressing critical long-term implications of the pandemic. As a part of this effort, Sattva hosted a roundtable discussion with leading CSR and foundation stakeholders invested in livelihoods, skilling and entrepreneurship to discuss sustainable solutions for rebuilding livelihoods among informal, migrant, gig economy and women workers. Moving forward, we are looking to continue to build solutions through partnerships and collaborative efforts of the ecosystem.

Agility in Adversity
We are building a repository of the innovative solutions that NGOs have been using to deal with the current crisis and launched the #agilityinadversity campaign to highlight the effort NGOs are putting to push the needle in the right direction in these times of uncertainty. The series covers stories of how NGOs have mitigated, adapted or pivoted their programs to navigate the global crisis.

Sattva is more committed now than ever to support non-profits during these times. We will continue to evolve with the times, and offer knowledge and advisory services to those who would like to leverage our support. If you are interested in connecting with us on any of these initiatives or new ones, please reach out to us at impact@sattva.co.in.

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Sattva has been working with various non-profits and social organisations as well as corporate clients to help them define their social impact goals. Our focus is to solve critical problems and find scalable solutions. We assist organisations in formulating their long-term social impact strategy by strategically aligning with business to provide meaningful solutions to social issues.

If you have any such stories or ideas to share, please write to us: impact@sattva.co.in

Agility in Adversity

Agility in Adversity – NGO Stories

Sattva is building an extensive repository of innovative solutions in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Our ‘Agility in Adversity’ series highlights innovative NGOs who are pushing the needle in the right direction at this time of uncertainty.

Take a look at Medha and how they have adapted in some key areas with their offerings.

You can access the entire series on the featured NGOs below.

In Series 2 we feature NGOs that are reimagining and pivoting their model and exploring mid to long term solutions, to mitigate the indeterminable impact of COVID-19.

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Sattva has been working with various non-profits and social organisations as well as corporate clients to help them define their social impact goals. Our focus is to solve critical problems and find scalable solutions. We assist organisations in formulating their long-term social impact strategy by strategically aligning with business to provide meaningful solutions to social issues.

If you have any such stories or ideas to share, please write to us: impact@sattva.co.in

How can Non-profits Pivot Effectively while Dealing with the COVID-19 Crisis?

How can Non-profits Pivot Effectively while Dealing with the COVID-19 Crisis?

– By Roselin Dey

‘The toughest choice to make is between safety and service in these times of crisis’. The CEO of one of the largest non-profit organisations in India said this recently while rolling out their COVID-19 response strategy.

Non-profits specifically working in the development sector are witnessing a deep impact of COVID-19. On one hand, these non-profits are trying to support communities which are struggling with access to resources, health services and sustenance. On the other hand, donor attention and funds are getting diverted towards COVID-19 relief necessitating non-profits to re-evaluate their focus. In such times, non-profits face a difficult choice whether to continue with a constrained business-as-usual path or to pivot and work on community relief/response.

Financial sustainability is one of the primary drivers for this decision and hence having a discussion to build alignment with the strategic donors is the first step. Assuming that the funders are receptive to adapting their existing grants to work on COVID-19 response, non-profits should then see this as an opportunity to maximise social impact while leveraging core ethos and expertise.

Over the last few weeks, we have had the opportunity to work deeply with one such non-profit to support and co-create their response to COVID-19 crisis.

You can read the full article, here.

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Roselin Dey is a Senior Engagement Manager in the Non Profit Advisory team at Sattva. She works with high potential non-profits in designing and building solutions to enable high impact on the ground. She holds more than a decade of experience in strategy, partnerships development and program management with experience in domains of Sustainability, Social Impact, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Sattva has been working with various non-profits and social organisations as well as corporate clients to help them define their social impact goals. Our focus is to solve critical problems and find scalable solutions. We assist organisations in formulating their long-term social impact strategy by strategically aligning with business to provide meaningful solutions to social issues.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this topic. Do write to us: impact@sattva.co.in

Enabling Equity in Classrooms in India

Enabling Equity in Classrooms in India

– By Farhan Shaikh

Equity as a construct propagates the core value of fairness and inclusion with a strong belief that all individuals deserve the available opportunities for development despite differences in background and personal abilities. Unlike the notion of ‘equality’ in education, where treatment of every child is expected to be the same before the learning process, ‘equity’ promotes redistribution of resources and teaching support for collective development within the classroom. Given the enormous diversity within a country like India, there have been remarkable initiatives like the Right to Education Act of 2009 and flagship schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and mid-day meal which emphasises on education for all but does not necessarily solve for equity.

The latest Children in India Report by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, reveals alarming statistics on the dropout rates of girls and students belonging to other socially disadvantaged groups. There is a 30% reduction in enrolment of girls from grade 5 to grade 9.For public schools in rural and semi-urban areas, enrolment up to grade 8 remains high mainly due to the mid-day meal scheme and other government incentives for parents to send their children to school. With its high tribal population, Jharkhand has the highest dropout rate of close to 70% for school children.

You can read the full article, here.

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Farhan Shaikh works with the Program Advisory and Management team at Sattva that largely engages with large scale non-profit Foundations. His work so far has primarily focused on organisational development of non-profits, data driven research studies and strategic philanthropy. Farhan has been associated with the Education circle of Sattva to develop content that can provide key actionable insights on specific problem areas. He completed his Bachelors in Statistics and followed it up with a Young India Fellowship at Ashoka University (Post graduate diploma in Liberal Arts).

Sattva has been working with various non-profits and social organisations as well as corporate clients to help them define their social impact goals. Our focus is to solve critical problems and find scalable solutions. We assist organisations in formulating their long-term social impact strategy by strategically aligning with business to provide meaningful solutions to social issues.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this topic. Do write to us: impact@sattva.co.in