The project is an effort to establish rights and entitlements of widow farmers through multi pronged strategies. It focuses on Awareness generation on access to social security and productive resources for livelihood for widows. Development of interface mechanism like legal clinics, Mobilisation of collectives at regional level. Documentation. The project achieves its goals through digital communication with the support of mobile networks. Alert messages on schemes, schedules for legal clinics and follow ups and information of mobilization would be sent to the community.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Yevatmal and Wardha Districts of Vidarbha Region, Maharashtra
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
We work closely with the women farmers through capacity building and knowledge sharing. We understand that the issue of representing women as a homogeneous group still hampers the efforts to make appropriate interventions for different subcategories of women. In this way the voices of widow farmers are also underrepresented online and otherwise too. We will be working with marginalised widow farmers and other categories of single women of Vidarbha region, Maharashtra.
The target population’s level of computer and internet familiarity is below average. However most of the community members are connected with mobile networks.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
The organization is directly implementing the project.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The content will be two folded.
Input content in the form of voice message alerts will inform the community on schemes, schedules for legal clinics and information on mobilization.
Output content in the form of Auto Podcast portrays the conditions of the target population and strategies used to overcome challenges. It also gives a detailed picture of their achievements and aspirations as a farmer. The content will be classified into 3, emphasizing on household, interface with institutions and markets and the social relationships at the community level.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
At national level, we have already established connections with National Forum for Single Women's Rights (NFSWR), Udaipur, Rajasthan.
At regional level, we have established contacts with Prakrithi Foundation, Nagpur, which does mobilisation and capacity building for widow farmers of Vidarbha Region, Maharashtra.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
We work in 20 villages in Yevatmal District and 40 villages in Wardha District. 2 women each from 20 villages in Yevatmal and 40 villages in Wardha will be trained. In addition, 6 community mobilisers will also be part of the training programme.
This is not a stand-alone project. Frequent home visits are already part of the ongoing development measures administered in the field. We are also working on a consultative meet with the target population. An orientation programme on the objectives, output and outcome of this project will be organised for the community for seeking their participation.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
The project focuses on digital communication through mobile networks. Basically training is given for using the mobile phones- receiving voice alerts and follow up of voice alerts. This needs only the listening skills. Recording facilities are there in the field sites. The programme area of Information, Education and Communication of the organisation has been involved in developing different communication tools to cater different specifications of the rural community. The organisation has partnered with many national and international establishments and together working for knowledge dissemination through Village Resource Centres and Village Knowledge Centres. Appropriate simple technologies will be used for the training purposes.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
We have full- fledged knowledge and resource centres. Also, there are technology facilities (recording facilities) available.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
Frequent home visits are already part of the ongoing development measures administered in the field. We are also working on a consultative workshop with the target population. Apart from this, frequent capacity building trainings are being organized and follow ups being done in the field level. We also have a community resource pool to attend to their needs and demands.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The community is not highly e-literate. Though they would be having mobile phones, they are not much exposed to any of the modern technological applications.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Gender Evaluation Methodology for Internets and ICTs will be used to understand the project's impact. In addition, evaluation would be conducted on lines of the benefits of government schemes the community has received.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
Discussion with the service providers- 15 days to 1 month
Selection of 120 participants (based on level of literacy and availability for trainings)- 1 month
Training for mobile users- 2 months
Workshop for case study preparation-2 months.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Hardware – 400USD
Workshop costs- 984USD
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
GEM workshops for the programme areas IEC, Gender and Grass root Institution including the field staff.
Dr. R Rengalakshmi
M S SWAMINATHAN RESEARCH FOUNDATION