I am writing this to share my first week experience joining Tech4Dev. I feel I was lucky to have my joining date coincide with the very week of the Kochi sprint which gave me the opportunity to really get a feel for the spirit of the team and the culture.
I had met Lobo, Erica, Vinod, Rohit, Rajeev for discussions in the previous month but was meeting most of the other team members for the first time. This was also the week where two events – the Data Catalyst program and the LLM cohort, were being held at the venue. This made the week very exciting as well as overwhelming at the same time.
The Data catalyst program, driven by Dasra, brought in the 12 handpicked NGOs and partners like Goalkeep and AgencyFund whereas the LLM cohort was conducted in partnership with Agency Fund. For someone like me being new to the sector, this was the best opportunity to meet the Dasra team, Agency Fund, Goalkeep and a set of NGOs , all in one place and understand how they are aligned within the ecosystem.
Data Catalyst program was aimed towards building a strong data culture within the nonprofit organizations, to help them assess the transformational impact with the vulnerable communities through their programs/interventions. The program was structured well with a combination of insightful sessions on data leadership, data literacy and working sessions. The program began with short introductions from each of the NGO teams and their purpose in attending the program. This was a bunch of folks, passionate about their work, with an excitement to learn and eager to share their learnings and challenges with the fellow NGOs. At the end of the program each of the NGO team was expected to come up with a problem statement, which they would work over the period of next 3 months with the help of the DCP PoCs. I was working with the Ummeed team as a POC. Ummeed works with the children with special needs, to help them achieve their potential.
I also had the chance to mingle with the other NGO representatives during course of the program. I saw a lot of interesting work happening on the ground, be it women’s health issues, mental health and wellbeing, children’s education, empowerment. Got to see the application/app demos from some of them like Saajha, ILP, Bandhu. All in all, most of them were seeking solutions for data management and impact assessment.
Several discussions followed relating to Dalgo and the fCXO work. This was also the time to interact with a bunch of young enthusiastic members of the team, some quiet, some chirpy but equally excited about their work and with a drive to learn new stuff. There were deep dive sessions on openAI and LLM from the Agency Fund team.
While all the work was happening diligently, Lobo was also keeping the team motivated on their fitness levels, with the customary morning walks. Though it was very early for me, I tried to join the fitness cohort on one of the days. Not too far from the main highway, the route led into the lush green fields and was truly refreshing. This being the world cup season, team got together to cheer for the cricket team later in the evenings. And of course there were celebrations for the Data Catalyst program and the sprint with some karaoke and fun games.
To sum it up, it was the team coming together with a purpose and a dash of fun…an essential potion for teams that work remotely.