Sankalpa means resolution in Sanskrit – it’s a resolution to make a difference in India! Sankalpa is a group of motivated individuals and concerned citizens who want to make a difference in India through supporting developmental work carried out by dedicated social workers and/or small-scale non-profit groups. The developmental activities are supported by funds generated through various fundraising activities in U.S. Sankalpa, currently, has an active chapter in Columbus, USA (Ohio State University Campus – Established April 2002) – 20 members. Philosophically, Sankalpa is a self-sustaining concept that will perpetuate as more individuals commit themselves to making a difference in India.
Sankalpa has evolved from a strong desire of its members to give back to India. It was initiated by a group of four graduate students at the Ohio State University in October 2000, but its activities have caught pace since April 2002. Today, Sankalpa has grown into a strong chapter in Columbus with a keen membership of like-minded individuals. Sankalpa has successfully completed more than 45 projects amounting to approximately $42,000 in areas of education, sanitation, energy, agriculture and health. Read More
Sankalpa’s mission is to make a difference in India!
Our main objective is to support Sustainable, Micro-developmental, and Grassroot-level projects
in areas like education, health, sanitation, and agriculture. Sankalpa co-ordinates and supports it’s
developmental projects through independent and dedicated social-workers/small-scale
Sankalpa’s first priority is to maintain and grow its present developmental work by
increasing its network of developmental partners in India. Secondly, Sankalpa plans to
expand its work by offering research consultancy to evaluate developmental work done
by these groups. To achieve this, Sankalpa envisions liaising with academics and graduate
students across various University campuses in India, UK and US. Lastly, Sankalpa
expects to foster communication and interaction between the network of social workers and
non-profit groups who are conducting the developmental work. This interaction will assist in
furthering the common cause, sharing learnings from one group to another, and ultimately
improving developmental activities across India. Thus, in summary the three main domains that
Sankalpa would like to develop are:
Development: Maintain and grow present activity of SMG projects in India
Research: Assist developmental partners in assessing developmental work through research activities and documenting the results through research papers/project reports
Networking: build a strong network of social-workers andnon-profit groups across India
Unlike big Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), independent social workers and small non-profit groups working at a local level are faced with frequent paucity of resources for their grassroots-level work. However, the local knowledge, experience, and community links within such groups mean that large developmental benefits can often be seen from relatively small investments. Hence, Sankalpa deems supporting these ‘actors’ of grassroots development important.
Sankalpa’s operative model ensures 100% utilization of funds for developmental activities. Our model is composed of six basic steps: (i) Identification of partner(s), (ii) Request for proposal (RFP) and decision-making, (iii) Fund Allocation, (iv) Project implementation, (v) Monitoring and feedback, and (vi) Project evaluation and assessment
Ultimately, Sankalpa aims at building a long-term relationship with partners resulting in additional projects in the future. This relationship also fosters confidence between Sankalpa and its partners, which consequently results in honest and fair implementation of projects. Following is a brief description of activities entailed under each step:
Partner Identification: This is the most crucial step of all. Identifying dedicated and partners is key to ensuring 100% utilization of Sankalpa’s funds. Partner identification usually happens through personal experiences of Sankalpa members with developmental organizations or recommendation through our trusted contacts/friends/family in India. Otherwise, potential partners are identified through in-depth research about honest social worker(s)/non-profit groups. Additionally, identification of partners is followed by further verification via correspondence and/or personal contacts in India. In the future, Sankalpa intends to identify partners through recommendation of its existing partners.
RFP and Decision-Making: Once the partner is identified, Sankalpa sends a request for proposal. After receiving the completed proposal, it is discussed during the bi-weekly meetings. An in-depth evaluation is done with consultation of Sankalpa members. In addition, members also discuss the adequacy of information provided and if required more information is requested to clarify any ambiguity. Further to the discussion (or receipt of additional information) and depending on the alignment of the proposed project with Sankalpa’s criteria of micro-developmental and sustainable activity, a decision is made whether to fund the project or not. Special attention is paid to timeline, budgetary requirements, and feedback mechanism involved in monitoring the project. The decision is then communicated to the partner.
Remitting Funds: Following the positive decision, Sankalpa remits the requested funds to the partner in India.
Project Implementation: This is the second most crucial step after partner identification. Honest and fair implementation of the proposed project ensures 100% utilization of the funds. Identification of dedicated partner assures success of the project implementation phase and conscientious utilization of funds.
Monitoring and Feedback: A reliable feedback mechanism loop is established once the project is set in progress. This mechanism comprises of: (i) interim progress report from the partner, (ii) personal visit by Sankalpee including a detailed personal visit report, and (iii) final report at completion with itemized budgetary description.
Evaluation and Assessment: Presently, this is an optional step in Sankalpa’s operative model. In the light of Sankalpa’s vision of developing research consultancy, project evaluation and assessment will become imperative. Moreover, we plan to integrate this vision with increasing number of projects in the future.
In summary, our robust operative model with appropriate checks and balances ensures 100% utilization of funds. Sankalpa aims to build long-term relationships with partners in implementing the sustainable micro-developmental work. We greatly value our relationships with our partners and every attempt is made to cherish these partnerships.
Specific set of guidelines and criteria for proposal evaluation, project monitoring and feedback mechanism are under development. The guidelines will be solidified with more experience and growth in Sankalpa’s activities.