III. The Next Steps for ISABS
If ISABS wants to influence social change in the country, and follow up on the ideas given above, some of the concrete action steps it could take within the next two years could include:
Develop Collaborations with Social Change Facilitating Organizations
There are various ways in which ISABS can provide significant support to Social Change Facilitators. Some of these include:
- Collaborate with organizations that train other NGOs, e.g. PRIA, Aravali, UNNATI, HIDF, Jan Vikas, JAGORI etc.
- Collaborate with large sized NGOs that have a large footfall of their own. For instance, PRADAN, MYRADA, DHAN, AKRSPI, BAIF, YUVA, EKLAVYA.
- Collaborate with organizations working in specific areas: with Dalits, with women, with disabled people, with tribals, with minorities; those working on issues of peace and justice; those working on issues of sexuality and gender etc.
- Collaborate with donors who in turn are connected with a large network of NGOs and other social initiatives, e.g. SRTT/Roopantaran, IDRC, Action Aid, CARE, DFID, NFI etc.
- Collaborate with other social initiatives and networks such as Ashoka Foundation, WASAN.
- Collaborate with academic institutions that are promoting social development: XISS, XIDAS, Behavioral Science Centre, TISS, NIRD etc.
- Collaborate with political or quasi political organizations that are committed to political change, e.g. NBA.
In order to do the above, the Social Change group of ISABS could draw up a list of criteria and methodologies for selecting appropriate collaborations. It is suggested that over the next six months, ISABS should target to enter into at least one such collaborations.
Develop Collaborations with Translators & Publishers
EKLAVYA is an iconic organization in the area of curriculum development, and consequently publishing, in Hindi. For the past two years, they have sent over a dozen participants for the Basic and Advanced labs; they continue to be hugely committed to benefitting from the T group process. More relevantly, they have helped to translate five of the articles that get distributed to basic lab participants.
While all this work has been done gratis, EKLAVYA is also open to the possibility of entering into an agreement with ISABS to do more time bound work of translation, and if required, publishing. Collaborations such as the above could be detailed out in the next few months, involving the PDP Deans, Program Deans along with the Social Development Dean.
Develop Material based on our experiences
A key to developing Social Development facilitators (as well as improving the relevance of the PDP material) would be to develop conceptual material based on the experience of ISABS members. To this end, ISABS members, collaborating with the Deans PDP and Social Development, could commit to developing such material over the next year.
Publish social change articles in ‘Here and Now’
The Social Development committee could try to ensure that “Here and Now” gets at least one article every issue that is relevant both from a process point of view, and from a social development angle. To this end, the team would not only provide its own written material, it would also canvas for articles from potential sources.
Ensure low cost labs with different ethos
A key to getting a large number of participants from the social development sector is the cost of the event. Events held at campuses of various social development organizations usually meets this purpose.
Such labs may also have a feel that is different from the national event, a difference resulting from differing stay arrangements (dormitories), a different standard of comfort (no AC or other luxury elements) and even a different kind of party (Ghazals, Jokes, skits, folk music & Art)
It is important to point out that many regions have already been holding such labs; what is important is that there is some culling out of key learnings that could be used by other regions, as well as at the National level.