Arghyam is a public charitable foundation based in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It was founded to support sustainable water and sanitation solutions.
Between October 2020 and February 2021, Ooloi Labs worked with the various teams at Arghyam and their partners to identify the needs and take the reimagined capacity-building approach to scale.
Ooloi Labs is now designing and conducting bite-sized learning engagements for the grantees to support their efforts in scaling blended capacity-building approaches.
This collaboration is an initiative by the ForWater Collective, anchored by Arghyam. ForWater collective is a collaborative platform that brings together people, ideas, and actions to amplify the ability of the sector to achieve sustainable water security at scale. At its core, it envisions bringing together “samaaj, sarkaar and bazaar” and supporting development that is both “participatory” and “drives scale” by building agency at the local level for continuous calibration to changing realities.
Our engagement is a part of the ForWater initiative towards reimagining the capacity-building approach. It aims to explore how technology and digital tools can be leveraged to interact with the "first mile" more efficiently and frequently.
The audience of the learning engagements is varied and dependent on the topic of the learning session from middle management to the field staff, from various partners of the ForWater Collective working in the water sector.
The idea is to build the foundational knowledge around blended learning mechanisms to help integrate the right approaches into their ongoing programs.
We workshopped with 15 - 17 organisations working in the domain of water security (across the country) to understand the gaps and needs for organisational capacity building.
The conversations helped us identify learning themes that were needed by the CSOs for the highest likelihood of implementation and impact.
Bite-sized learning engagements, for 3-4 weeks, were designed for each topic and were referred to as Learning Loops.
The knowledge and skills that the participants learned in these loops were directly applicable to ongoing programs.
The five ‘Learning Loops’ were:
Designing Blended Models for Capacity Building
Developing Content for Virtual Training
Visual Design Basics
Increasing Engagement in Virtual Sessions
Each loop was a cohort of 8 - 10 organisations, represented by 2- 3 participants.
These learning loops are hands-on experiences to help learners integrate digital tools and techniques to better support program staff.
The format is a mix of online sessions, classroom assignments, post-session assignments, and peer exchange through existing communication channels.
LL1: Designing Blended Models for Capacity Building
This learning Loop supported organisations to build systems and skills to identify areas for a blended approach to learning. It focussed on dividing virtual and physical engagements within the programs and articulating the learning experience in each of the identified areas, keeping learners at the center.
LL2 : Content Planning for Virtual Training
This Learning Loop helped learners plan the ‘curriculum/syllabus’ and atomized content for a learning experience delivered virtually. The learning experience framework was used to go further in building the content and the right methodologies that are needed to plan content.
LL3 : Basics of Visual Design
This Learning Loop helped participants learn basic visual design principles and tools to enable them to create content that is visually engaging and simplified.
Learners were introduced to visual hierarchy principles that can be applied to presentations to make them more engaging and easier to digest.
LL4 : Functional Grid
This Learning Loop helped participants learn to build a detailed Functional Grid to enable them to get the big picture of the needs around learning material, and also be able to plan specifics to prioritise the creation or curation of these.
Mapping the functions and the actors can be a critical addition to the program planning and management process that helps to plan and execute effective capacity-building.
LL5 : Increasing Engagement in Virtual Training Sessions
The last Learning Loop focuses on participants learning how to include various modes of engagement and check for understanding during virtual sessions.
We are currently conducting the 5th learning Loop with different organisations. The response to these learning sessions has encouraged Arghyam and Ooloi to take these Learning Loops forward and extend it to making this an open online course for organisations to learn at their own need and pace.