Thiruvananthapuram: Smile Foundation has announced its partnership with the Dutch development organization, Wilde Ganzen, to launch the international capacity building initiative: Change the Game Academy (CTG Academy) in India. Change the Game Academy is a first of its kind e-learning portal specially created for, and dedicated to build the capacities of, grassroots NGOs and CBOs.
With India’s evolution into an emerging economy, foreign funds from developed countries are dwindling, which are now directed towards rehabilitating and empowering poorer countries and conflict zones. Furthermore, while the number of donors has risen in the past owing to an increase in India’s per-capita income, the same is accessible only by larger organizations or INGOs.
Grassroots NGOs and CBOs, despite their last mile connect, are often faced with challenges in funding and resource mobilization due to a lack of proper management system, communication and mobilization skills, or preparedness of the internal organization. Driven with a vision to mitigating these challenges, the Change the Game Academy has been launched to help the local community welfare projects reap benefits of “Digital India” at the very grassroots.
Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder & Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation, said, “Ideally, grassroots NGOs and CBOs should become an interface between the community and the government, helping implement the schemes and policies to the last mile and reflecting the gaps by becoming the voice of the community. But to make this possible, there is an imminent need to incubate and handhold grassroots NGOs.”
Change the Game Academy uses the blended learning approach, combining face-to-face courses, full e-learning courses, separate e-learning modules and toolkits and collective and individual coaching. The e-learning platform has easy modules, designed by international experts, adopted in the Indian context by the Smile Foundation. Representatives from the CBOs and grassroots NGOs can learn and complete the courses at their own pace and convenience.
The CTG Academy is focused at strengthening the capacities of grassroots organizations in three main domains: Organizational capacity, local fundraising, and mobilization of support. Furthermore, the academy makes its modules available at three different levels, catering to the specific needs of CBOs and NGOs operating at different levels. The CTG will address organizations with limited knowledge and experience; Cover the requirements of intermediate level organizations; and Organizations possessing advanced knowledge and domain expertise.
Taking a comprehensive approach, the programme will simultaneously have face to face training sessions where the CBOs and grassroots NGOs will get an opportunity to learn directly from experts. Following the launch of e-learning portal, the Change the Game Academy has also made available modules and toolkits on local fundraising and toolkits on organizations capacity. These modules can be immediately accessed by the grassroots NGOs for mastering the nuances of raising support locally and diversifying resources, so that their community welfare initiatives can become self-sustainable and their impact becomes long-lasting.
Highlighting their vision for the future, Mishra added, “We will take Change the Game Academy to 30 different cities pan-India and shall work closely with CBOs and NGOs involved in crucial developmental projects like education, health and livelihood. The idea is to help them forge positive partnerships with multiple stakeholders like the local authorities, corporate, government and institutions, and channelizing the collective efforts to bring sustainable development at the community level.” Besides India, the programme will also be launched in Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa.