The Strategy !
Aajeevika does not propose
to create one more NGO and duplicate the infrastructure to undertake
independent field work. Rather, it will work with a lean structure and
network with existing NGOs/CBOs that share the above philosophy. The
idea is to build on their existing social capital in the community and
help them to add microfinance services to their present work.
Aajeevika’s input will be to link partners to training and financial
Aajeevika has identified some
partners and NGOs/CBOs that work with the poor in Delhi slums,
particularly women, irrespective of the area of focus of the partner (it
could be health, literacy, advocacy, drug abuse, trade unions etc.).
Once such partners are identified, Aajeevika links them to training
inputs to acquire capacity in microfinance operations. The aim is to
create a trained cadre of master trainers within the partner NGOs to
support the SHGs in the areas where they work.
Aajeevika will assist the
partner NGOs in two ways: i) where the NGO has already formed SHGs they
will be given further doses of training and capacity building so that
they can be upgraded to link to financial services and ii) where the
NGO/CBO wishes to mobilise fresh SHGs, it will be assisted with
additional field staff support in the exercise of group formation,
training etc. Aajeevika supports the partners with field staff and
supervision during the social mobilisation phase.
SHGs will be provided several
doses of training and oriented to savings and credit operations. This
phase is expected to last at least one year. The focus here will be on
enabling the SHGs to become adept at the entire gamut of operations
relating to micro credit, right from fixing the weekly contributions,
deciding on interest rates, repayment schedules, loan size etc. As the
SHGs begin to make the grade they will be linked to banks/MFIs for a
range of financial services. At the same time Aajeevika will work
closely with the partner NGO to enable the SHG members to access credit
and services in the areas of primary, reproductive and sexual health,
functional literacy, water and sanitation, habitat and skill upgradation.
Given the presence of
literally hundreds of NGOs and other civil society actors in Delhi, the
focus will be on consolidating their work and providing an additional
input to link grassroots institutions promoted by the partner NGOs to a
range of financial services to strengthen livelihoods. The partners will
of course continue to work on their existing focus areas. The intention
is to leverage collective strength and scale up from the existing level
of social investment already made by the partner NGOs in establishing a
relationship of trust with the community.