SI LAB Rural

SOCIAL INNOVATION LABS AT GRASSROOTS

Usually underprivileged communities are mobilised to demand their rights from the Government. But they are never encouraged to find solutions themselves. If the youth in the community is made to look into their forgotten traditions and systems, and synergise them with modern practices, they can innovate new practices and systems within the community to overcome their problems. Such entrepreneurial initiatives can help them overcome problems like malnutrition, unemployment, economic security, education, health, disease prevention, sex ratios, etc. themselves, and can spark a different trend towards self-reliance, removing dependency on Government and outside agencies.

With experience, we have come to believe that

  • 'The solution to every problem, lies deep rooted within the problem itself, just like the cause. If the root cause(s) and its route(s) can be identified, the solution can be designed to follow the same route, so that its effect is permanent.
  • While designing solutions, we try to think that the Government or Administration does not exist. This helps us in designing solutions on the existing strengths of the beneficiary community, rather than outside support. This helps in better coordination and monitoring of the pilot, and also teaches beneficiaries how to get their rights, without demanding from the Government.
  • Engage locals for implementation. This helps in reducing their resistance to change, as it comes from the community people itself. It also helps in identifying the right people in the community, to take it forward, after the pilot is over. It helps in grooming and training them, while on the job. But the major help from them, comes in resisting political interference.

NGOs working in rural areas, should start Social Innovation Labs in Village clusters, to empower village youth, towards creating their own solutions. Such Village SILs will bring youth from different communities and villages, converging on regular intervals, to discuss problems and prospective solutions, using OASiS’s method of problem solving. The SIL youth groups will implement their own solutions, and will be supported by the NGO through funding and other resources. This will help SIL youth in villages get self employment, while solving their community's problems and setting examples for other communities too.

The SIL's guidance and support will instil in them the confidence, that they can solve their own problems, and develop mechanisms and systems for their continued socioeconomic development.