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Case Study

Societal Platform Missions: Responding to COVID19 Crisis – Part 2

This article is part of the series we are doing on how Societal Platform Missions are responding to COVID19 crisis. You can read Part 1 here.

In this article, we spoke to our friends at Reap Benefit and ShikshaLokam on what are the solutions/programs that they have designed as they responded to this crisis in an inclusive manner. Across our missions, we’ve found the common denominators in their responses to be: leveraging strong relationships with partners that were nurtured during pre-COVID times + having an foundational digital infrastructure that allowed for co-creation of contextual solutions at speed, at scale + engaging citizens as critical partners throughout this journey. 

Let’s learn more.

Reap Benefit:

Reap Benefit’s Neighbourhood Dashboard went live during the Covid19 Lockdown in May 2020 to help citizens map communities, neighbourhoods and local stores. Features on the dashboard enabled Bengalureans (in India) to map areas where there were vulnerable families in need of rations and medical support. Over 130,013 data points have been mapped on the Covid19 dashboard, allowing Reap Benefit to help 1,162,262 people through citizens, civil society and partners like Whitefield Rising, With Bengaluru, Dream a Dream and Teach for India. Organisations like Outlawed, Project Sitara and She As a Virago founded by Reap Benefit’s Youth Board Members innovatively fundraised money. Recently, Project Rutu distributed sanitary pads to one of the city’s most important essential workers, our pourakarmikas. Knowing just how important collaboration is in these times, 30 Solve Ninjas (young citizens who are empowered to be civic problem solvers) worked with Indus Action volunteers to help over 500 stranded migrant families reach their hometown in Chattisgarh via Shramik Trains by calling them and sharing the details of train departure times and stations, and then following up to ensure they reached home.

The Government of Karnataka’s plan for Booth Level Committees to fight Covid19 at the ward level was supported by Solve Ninjas in a number of ways. As part of the Call Your Corporator campaign, they called 198 ward corporators in the city to enquire whether they would be holding their ward committee meeting or not. Our very first Civic Tool Kit, is an amalgamation of our learnings from the Call Your Corporator campaign and will be piloted in Nelamangala soon through the Yuva Shakti network. Read more here: here

Reap Benefit’s Neighbourhood Dashboard

ShikshaLokam:

In the state of Punjab, ShikshaLokam, as part of the Punjab Education Collective, ran the initiative of “Virtual Parents Teachers Meeting (VPTM)”. The intent of the initiative was to build trust between the State and the parents, in the suddenly transformed COVID world – where the schools were shut with little clarity on when they will reopen or  on how students will learn during this time. 

The VPTMs were run in phases where the State, through the School Leaders, reached out to more than 20,000 parents, virtually. Through this initiative, School Leaders had a formal conversation with parents to understand their realities and challenges, and to personally inform them of the initiatives that the State had planned to continue their children’s schooling. This initiative preceded the announcement of state-run TV-broadcasted channels for students’ to learn from. Additionally, the state also ran coordinated home assignments (with the content on the TV channel) to complete the day’s cycle of learning for children of all age groups. Subsequent VPTMs helped in strengthening the bond between schools, parents and children in the absence of a physical school environment. This effort was one-of-its-kind where the State actively reached out to the parent community to onboard them and build a stronger relationship with them in such testing times. 

In the state of Andhra Pradesh (AP), ShikshaLokam worked closely with the Department of Education to run a state-wide online training for more than 150000 teachers, during the initial time of Covid-related school closures. State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), AP prepared content for teacher training, and teachers across the state availed these courses through the ShikshaLokam learning app. The data on the teachers’ learning levels were provided back to the State and  was made available to district-level officers as well, to decentralise and customize teacher training needs at the district level. 

About The Unbundle Series

Back home, in Bangalore, ShikshaLokam launched the Unbundle Series in collaboration with its partners to ‘unbundle’ the National Education Policy 2020. Through a series of 5 interactive sessions (topics mentioned in the image attached), the intent of Unbundle is to understand NEP 2020 in the context of COVID19, specific to opportunities and challenges that practitioners might face while implementing NEP.

So far, ShikshaLokam has engaged more than 250 individuals from 100+ participating organizations through this series. In collaboration with CoLab-Mantra, they also released two handbooks covering the solutions presented during these sessions under the themes of Early Childhood Care & Education and Foundational Literacy & Numeracy.

Sign up for The Unbundle Series: register here

Recording of previous sessions: click here