Capacity Building- HRIDAY

In light of their recent move towards becoming independent community-based organizations, a good portion of HRIDAY’s work has been directed towards the Sangathans.  HRIDAY has assisted the Sangathans by helping them define their work area and issues, assess the relevance of their work and develop an action plan; in many cases this has meant conducting specific needs assessment workshops with Sangathan women.  Additionally, HRIDAY has helped the Sangathans understand necessary organizational functions and the importance of an organization having clear principles and values.  Moreover, HRIDAY has trained Sangathan women on the importance of leadership within a young organization identifying emerging challenges and creating a plan for the future.

Leadership training and team building have also been central to HRIDAY’s work with the Sangathans.  Rather than train Sangathan leaders in individual leadership skills, though, HRIDAY has instead focused on developing their collective leadership capabilities.  HRIDAY has helped the Sangathan leaders understand the challenges of collective leadership and offered various models of collective leadership they might choose to adopt.  HRIDAY’s workshops with the Sangathans have also stressed the importance of teamwork and the sharing of responsibilities within a leadership group.

Another major component of HRIDAY’s internal capacity building strategy has been orienting new KMVS staff to the organization and the region.  To welcome new recruits to the KMVS family and make them familiar with KMVS’ structure, personnel and ideology, HRIDAY has educated them about the organization’s history, coordinated their visits with the different Cells and Sangathans, and facilitated open discussion between them and KMVS’ senior members.  HRIDAY regularly coaches new staff on gender sensitization as well.

In addition, HRIDAY has striven to ensure that all KMVS staff understand some broader issues surrounding development and women’s empowerment.  HRIDAY has created materials about what it means to work with poor and vulnerable segments of society in order to help KMVS staff reflect on their roles and responsibilities in facilitating social change.  HRIDAY has also occasionally arranged for outside experts and development professionals to visit KMVS and discuss big-picture issues like the impact of globalization on rural India.

In order to fulfill the capacity building needs of KMVS’ Cells and the Sangathans, HRIDAY has been consistently engaged in building its own capacities as well.  Over the past few years the Cell has consciously dedicated 30% of its time to improving its own abilities.While the Cell has learned much about how to facilitate individual learning and development on the job, it has also sought out specific opportunities to update its own knowledge and methods.  For this support HRIDAY has collaborated with the Human and Institutional Development Forum (HIDF) and participated in many workshops, trainings and exposure visits.

To formalize its many methods for nurturing the individual capacities of KMVS staff, HRIDAY has developed what it calls a ‘nurturing circle’.  By following a progression from staff recruitment to performance review HRIDAY is able to facilitate the growth of KMVS staff in a structured fashion.  HRIDAY has found this approach successful and has employed it with Sangathan leaders, too.