• Drishtee - Sustainable Communities

Community Connect

Community Connect is about being with the communities and being a ‘community’ ourselves. Drishtee is a growing family of entrepreneurs, farming families, producer groups, youth groups, women groups, young students and other members of the local rural communtiies. Our role is of a “Facilitator” and “enabler” of “Change”. The Change that has been designed and demanded by the community based organizations, local groups, entrepreneur groups and other stakeholders who own the “change process”.

Drishtee works with its team of 400 odd members, who are either rural based or rural-immersed to create the desired value on ground and moreover to play the role of an “Enabler” in the process.

Community connect builds and operates with the multi-stakeholder groups inclusing local communities of men, women, youth or experienced groups that would co-deign and co-create solutions for their sustainable growth. Contributors like our corporate partners, development agencies, govt. etc.play their role and strengthen Drishtee’s intervention for a long term success. For this there is an inclusive and innovative process that initiates with Immersion based understanding and trust building followed by PRA approaches of social engagement and resource mapping. This then leads to co-creation of intervention with multiple stakeholders joining hands to facilitate or enable the process of change.

Drishtee’s core values for Community connect and “enablers’ approach” are :

– Local Ownership and Stakeholdership

– Shared Prosperity between communities

– Theory of Change to be Co-designed with the communities

– Building sustainable and scalable solutions

– Partnerships are the key to success

– Partners and Volunteers are critical for the success in “role of Enabler”

– Entrepreneurs should give way to ‘enabling of Micro-enterprises’

– Local producers (including farmers, textile-producers, other hand-skill producers) are the key towards revering the mobility curve and therefore sustainability of all the levels – rural to urban

Community Connect partners work with us in different roles, as :


The steps of implementation include:

Step 1: Rural Immersion

Being there, Listerning, Caring, Observing, Understanding and above all this Engaging are the key for initiating the process of change. The initialization of Community into any such action, brief or lengthy, starts with an immersion approach by spending time in the
villages to understand and connect with the villagers. This also initiates a process of trust building with the community.

Step 2: Local Resource mapping

Local resource mapping is done through PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal) techniques

– to map farm and non-farm alternatives,

– to understand gender roles,

– to evaluate other local needs, gaps, priorities, resources as well as strengths and opportunities.

– to map aspirations, mindsets and perspectives of local communities.

– To build a detail understanding of infrastructure, income levels, education, healthcare situations, access to drinking water, livelihood patterns, localized sources of income, migration, gender roles, cultural issues, biases, existing women entrepreneurs, existing government schemes, banks and financial inclusion, local products, availability and demand, skills / expertise, local potential of production, etc.

– To do Farmer Level Mapping for Demographic details, Education level, Income levels, Size of landholdings, Level of farm mechanization, Access to health and sanitation facilities.

– A deep local understanding of local farming families (specially marginal1 and small2 farmers) through community meetings/Focused group discussions/In-depth interviews, immersive observations, etc.

– Profiling of non- farming families and alternate sources of income for them

Phase 2: Development & Design phase

Co-Developing Community and developing Business plan

Community key enabling partners, mostly corporates or other agencies, jointly define the vision and scope of co creation and then structure the ideas or solutions. Key focus is to enhance sustainable growth or facilitate shared prosperity through sustainable means to result in more local micro-enterprises or local livelihoods. Drishtee focuses on Key areas like Agriculture, Textile, Construction and other critical services for strengthening the sustainable value –chains. Overall the aim is to get a community business plan.

1 Marginal farmers are those with less than 1 hectare of agriculture landholding

2 Small farmers are those with 1-2 hectare of agriculture landholding

PHASE 3: Intervention implementation

For the implementation of the intervention Drishtee proposes the Swavalamban Approach to achieve Sustainability

The Approach is focused on facilitating local action to achieve sustainable development in a cluster of villages. The overall approach is of creating an ecosystem for nurturing local micro-enterprises that harness local resources and inspires innovation and
capacity building. Drishtee takes up a structured approach but is all about strengthening and creating continuous dialogue with the community and the various stakeholders as co-creators of sustainable holistic development.

This is to create a continuous dialogue with the community and the various stakeholders as co-creators of sustainable holistic development plan. Immersion and engagement based “Swavlamban” approach is all about –

– Community Ownership of ideas and initiatives

– Local resource mobilization

– Long term and sustainable approaches

– Self-dependence and hared prosperity

Step 4: Group formation

Developing local groups of farmers, women and youth are mobilized and motivated to form more organized structures like Farmer Clubs, SHGs, etc. The idea is to develop stronger local ownership and initiate action towards ‘shared prosperity’ and long term sustainability. Village groups are growing in strengths as well as maturity therefore we can expect a large scale action to be taking place through village based organizations, or an aggregation of groups such as federations. These federations would be mobilised and nurtured through Drishtee mobilization support. A holistic understanding and mapping of the sustainable implementation/delivery models is provisioned through the local entrepreneurs.

Step 5: Sharing of Plan with the Stakeholders and Capacity Building:

As the part of the step 4 the discussion of integrated farm and Non-farm plans with village farmers (or whatever area the group chooses) takes place. This also strengthens the sustainability aspects of the community based development planning and its various aspects inherent or specific to the community locally.

Step 6: Establishment of sustainable micro enterprises and continuing support:

Each model/level innovative ideas and approaches of creating micro business models largely support the local livelihoods and in a holistic and sustainable manner. Various key issues like health, sanitation, education, energy etc get dovetailed with the Community’s Business Plan and Integrated planning. The Community action plan is supported and facilitated for action by Drishtee and its team of stakeholders and volunteers. The key focus is on Rural production and market connect.

Step 7: Handholding support for Implementation

Step 8: Linkages and Association based Impact

Step 9: Growth and Beyond

Comments are closed