About the program:
The project ‘Digital Sarthak’ supported by USAID and DAI aims to enable 10000 Women entrepreneurs to connect online and earn their livelihood through digital/ e-commerce platforms; also marketing their products and expanding their clientele whereas 500 Women led Community Development Organizations will be able to outreach effectively through online modes and monitor and supervise their work. They will be identified with the help of 100 Digital Sarthak selected from 10 districts located in seven states.
Digital Sarthak will set up 100 digital resource centres covering 50 blocks and 1500villages located in selected aspirational districts to build the capacity of the women entrepreneurs and CDOs and also will reach out to 300,000 individuals and impart knowledge through capacity building workshops to 100,000 individuals about digital and financial literacy.
Digital Sarthak are the foot soldiers who will be identified and selected from 10 selected districts to build the capacity of Women entrepreneurs and Women led CDOs and will also provide information to the individuals living in the villages.
Context and Scope of the program:
The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown necessities have upended social and economic processes, access and delivery of services, trade and transactions and affected all segments of social and economic groups adversely in India, as in world over. The regressive impact has been unprecedented and paralyzing for the forward moving and emerging social and economic players until the Covid-19 posed a devastating roadblock.
The two important critical players, amongst others, that have faced major uncertainty and coping challenges in current scenario and in post current scenario are – (a) Micro, Small and Women Enterprises / Entrepreneurs (MSWEs); and (b) Out of mainstream Civil Society / Community Based and Development Organizations. For these India’ s two critical social and economic agencies, Covid-19 has forced to confront both – challenges and opportunities. As Covid-19 has / had necessitated to identify, access, deploy and use effective and relevant digital technology, tools, platforms and resources to keep going social and economic processes, for these two critical players, the challenges have been in – (a) Having effective and relevant digital skills and capacities to network, trade and transact, engage and partner with stakeholders; (b) Identify, access, negotiate, deploy and use digital tools, platforms, resources for its advantage and mainstreaming their activities on digital pathways / highways and stay relevant with appropriate information and communication processes.
For the Independent/Micro WEs, digital transformation is not just using apps or social media; it has to be aligned to the nature of business with clearly defined metrics to justify the efforts and the investment. Hence, there are reasons for the micro/independent entrepreneurs to embrace digital transformation which are crucial especially in the context of COVID 19. Technology adoption will be effective to identify new customers as existing customers may be cash-strapped, may have reduced demand or may have simply perished on account of COVID crisis. Strategic digital support would enable them to help generate new leads and also customize the solutions based on the new demands that bubble up. Adopting the digital journey can ensure that existing customers are serviced effectively, thus leading to harvesting of new opportunities.
Similarly, Community Development organizations (CDOs) have the requisite potential for bringing sustainable development to local communities in rural areas. These organizations are playing a critical role in supporting the health, safety, and wellness of people around the world but due to unprecedented times like these, half of the country working from home, organizations based within communities are facing challenges in delivering impact while keeping their workforce safe. The challenges include- technical capacity, scarcity of resources, and lack of digital technology solutions customized for their environment. Therefore, for these organizations to make the greatest impact on their missions, they must have easy access to digital technology and the ability to effectively utilize it.
Digital Up-skilling of 10000 Women Entrepreneurs and 500 Women-led Community Development Organizations to help them access and use the digital tool safely, securelyand impactfully.
Capacity building of 100 Digital Sarthaks to reach out and engage with the Women Entrepreneurs and Women led CDOs
Establishing 100 Digital Resource Centres equipped with a multi-function printer and a smartphone with the help of Digital Sarthaks
To provide digital and entitlements services to the community with the help Digital Sarthaks.