Information Dissemination to empower communities and build agency
Sahuri, is a ‘persona’ / ‘mascot’ of Agency Building; someone who shares life experiences and challenges similar to those experienced by the community members. She brings alive her experiences through messages and knowledge nuggets that help build perspective on different aspects that matter to the community members, in an interesting story telling format. She starts by building trust and engages with the community as a friend periodically, bringing new message/learning/ways to do things better etc, through each of her letters. Sahuri covers agency building messages across domains of livelihoods, health, social protection, climate action and disaster risk reduction, along with fundamental life skills around key thematic areas such violence against women, financial literacy, rights and entitlements etc.
Sahuri started her journey almost over 2 decades ago, as a mascot of agency building in the MFI (Micro finance) sector, reaching over 15 lakh women. The study and intervention commissioned by CreditAccess Grameen LTD (erstwhile Grameen Koota Financial Services), was intended to help women access important information, not just with respect to financial hygiene, but also to empower her through information on health, rights, citizenship, environment, nutrition etc. The success of the intervention was demonstrated in the ability of the commissioning organization to take it far beyond the pilot group and reach over 15 lakh women across more than 5 states, without any support from Phicus!
SAHURI’S INTEGRATION WITH PHICUS WORK
Sahuri now features in all critical Phicus engagements where Community Agency and resilience is being built. Through Phicus’ work with Community Action Collaborative to build community and institution resilience, Sahuri has touched over 300 leaders, across 60 community organizations, across 16 states in the country. In this intervention, Sahuri has brought her experiences alive in how to build effective and vibrant community organizations, emphasising on the importance of taking stock of the organization health, defining a vision and mission for the organization, creating effective plans and reviewing them, on the importance of networking and building strong peer connects, resource mobilisation etc.
With the farmer community in Orissa, Sahuri is reaching small and marginal farmers through her letters in creating awareness around health and prevalent diseases such as Anaemia and Diabetes.
The Sahuri letters can be deployed in formats best suited to the community members and their contexts. These messages are typically delivered at the frequency of once every 2 – 3 weeks in a few formats – 1) Physical printable letters available in English. These will need to be translated into the regional language before deployment. If the community members are literate, pdf versions of these letters could be sent via whatsapp. Alternatively, if the partner has field teams deployed on the ground, who have a regular meeting schedule, a Sahuri letter can be read out to the members. This channel allows for a personal engagement around the letter and offers an opportunity for the field resources to facilitate learning around key messages of the letter. 2) Audio version of the letter, that can be deployed on whatsapp to the community members. This option will require the partner to invest in the conversion of the letter into audio formats.
Additionally, the following can be enabled for the implementing partners:
1. Training modules accompanied by Train the Trainer kits for implementing partners – These will be created as resource toolkits complete with all relevant content (posters, handouts, Avs, questionnaires, etc.) and accompanying Training of the Trainer (ToT) modules made available as live online workshops as well as learn-at-your-pace ToT videos on the online Phicus Resource Hub. Additionally, if a partner so chooses to adopt Sahuri, an online ToT can be organised for the implementing partner teams by Phicus Development Solutions, Sahuri’s design architects
2. Online Resource Hub – This will serve as a repository for the implementing partners where all key content that they need to use with the communities that they serve will be made available. This will include (indicatively):
Training content for all foundational and domain supporting inputs
Local directories of relevant resources
Sahuri letters in letter and audio formats
Toolkits with user guides