Actually, Friend In Need recently started a non-profit wing that is focused on transforming the experiential knowledge generated by our activities in Kameshwaram into models and tools for documenting and teaching processes for facilitating reflection and optimal choice. We believe that there is a real need for such models and teaching tools that can be applied at the village level. Our non-profit is called Sti4Change (see www.Sti4Change.com ). Manoj, co-founder of Pratanute (see http://www.pratanute.com) designed our website and he is our mascot in tools building for village use. This is a big challenge that most web business developers would totally shy away from. So why did Manoj do it? This is what I asked him.
“Manoj, I have only vague ideas at the moment about the tools and models that can be developed for representing and teaching how to achieve clean villages – and yet you have agreed to work with us. And, you have come to the village and are absorbing all the details. Why? Especially, when you could be sitting in a nice office, and building a nice app for a mainstream company and earning a lot more!”
This is what Manoj had to say.
“Well, from the beginning working with your team was different. I got respect for the work that I did. And then, I was made to feel part of a process for social change rather than being just a service provider. Finally, when I came to know about the activities which you are doing in Kameshwaram – even more before Prime Minister declared them and the importance of these issues for our health and our children, I was driven to support you!”
“Besides now, more and more people are aware and ready for change. But, we don’t know how to make this happen. So, even if there is nothing now, I am confident that thoughts/ideas will come – and keep coming and then these will take us further and further as we make improvements again and again – till we get something good.”
“Of course, we can’t replace manual processes with digital tools, but even with very simple software we can create applications that help to constantly and evaluate the process. This is where learning will come from and it will be more sure and faster than through memory.”
“When we build tools that can be used by many – then we can have ‘knowledge sharing’ – we can compare different ‘stylized processes’ and identify ‘good practices and role models’. These can be the drivers of change. Yes, we can make them so that they are very simple to use.”
“We can also build simple tools for impact monitoring – and these should create clear representations easy for all to understand. Our impact images should convince some of our reluctant villagers to join the waste management program and maybe even use toilets!”