Greetings from Mumbai. There are many updates!
My primary project, that of developing an impact assessment framework, is coming together nicely. Dasra will be assessing impact on a quarterly basis and an annual basis. The quarterly balanced scorecard is almost done. It records (and measures, where appropriate) updates in key areas relating to organizational efficiency and financial health. It also records Dasra’s inputs so we can correlate them to the organization’s growth. I’ll be field-testing it in the next few weeks to make sure implementation is realistic. The annual report will be an expanded and more detailed version of the quarterly, and it will feature more interesting analysis on data that can only be collected (or is only meaningful) on an annual basis. My project requires close coordination with several different sections of my company, and therefore making substantial progress requires coordinating multiple peoples’ schedules. So, I have taken on some additional projects.
First, I’ve been conducting interviews to recruit a COO for Educate Girls (FEGG), one of our portfolio organizations. It’s interesting, especially since I just completed a round of OCR interviews before leaving for India.
Second, I will be working for a very grassroots orphanage providing basic office services like writing emails, creating documents, and initiating communications to get funding. I’ll be a temporary link connecting the orphanage to Dasra’s vast network of resources. I should be able to go into the field sometime next week to get a crash course introduction to this project.
In two weeks, I will also be visiting Mann Deshi, a rural women’s business school which provides the education needed to make the most of microfinance loans. I’ll be attending their 2-day training session and will see how our impact assessment framework can be worked into their existing practices.
I’ll quickly fill you in on some other stuff I’ve been up to – I’ve been keeping rather busy. Yesterday, I went to the famous Taj Hotel to check out the room in which Dasra is holding its annual International Philanthrophy Forum (IPF), a major annual event in the world of philanthropy. I will be preparing the audio and visual material for that event, which should be a fun way to apply my digital media skills. Last weekend I went to the mountain village of Purushwadi through a social business called Grassroutes. I ended up making some friends on the trip, and I’ll be going to a get-together slash party tonight with one of those friends. I met another Dream Theater fan; we drove back from the village blasting Dream Theater. It was awesome. That’s one quite noticeable thing about being here – people are just nice. It’s easy to make friends. My social life has been unexpectedly rich in my short time here.