Impact Group – what relevance would it have for Global Libraries programme in India?

on

Image

During his visit to India in November, 2016 Marcel Chiranov, Impact Assessment Consultant, introduced me to concept of Impact Group for sustaining impact of global libraries programme in Romania. This was time when IPLM (Indian Public Library Movement) programme was had just finished its results framework consumption with implementing partners and consultants from BMGF. Frankly, we at IPLM were more involved into programme roll-out – having strategies in place for domains like advocacy and communication, research and documentation, monitoring & evaluation and programme management related formats, reporting structures etc. During Marcel’s seven days visit to India, we discussed many times the relevance of having the impact group for IPLM (constituting of librarians who would be ready to volunteer, enthusiastic to walk extra mile, bringing in new ideas to making programme initiatives sustainable and working together towards making libraries as inclusive knowledge centers). While having these conversations, we always compared contextual differences between India and Romania – things true in Romania may necessary not work in Indian context and vice-versa. Off late, we found a common ground that all programme initiatives need a base or a support system to sustain more so when new services and practices are introduced and without a support system sustaining the impact generated and continuing its benefits would be more an assumption. While working for varied development sector related projects and initiatives what we have seen and learned is not everything works in similar way post programme, some benefits continue to remain for long and return of some diminish slowly. In case of highly successful initiatives, these benefits not only sustain the outcome and also progress to spread over after project completion. Here, something has been done differently which necessarily may not be true for all interventions – having a sustainable intervention model with support system to keep the outcomes or impact of programme intact. Marcel, my colleague had worked for something similar in Romania to sustain the impact of global libraries programme for long. With his passion for sustainable development he started an Impact Group – group of highly enthusiastic librarians who want to do something different for their libraries and were willing to join. The Romanian impact group was formed of thirteen members. Those people, acting as volunteers, without any administrative tasks came from their managers, started to work for the benefits of the Romanian librarians.  The group begin in August 2010, and until the end of the program, December 2014, they met every quarter, some years even five times. During this period, they produced three manuals for librarians, which proved to be extremely helpful for rural libraries, which are about 85% of Romanian libraries, having only one librarian.  Best practise in risk situation (advocacy examples), The guide for community services, and Methodologist Librarian Guide were very well received and few years after, the librarians are using them and speak about them.  It is worth to mention those three were the only manuals produced for the Romanian librarians in the last twenty-four years”. It has been two years and the group interacts frequently (physical and virtual meetings) to discuss what progress has been made and what new efforts are required. We must not forget these people could have also chosen not to work extra mile and still have been benefited by project like many others. However, they joined the group with a very high motivation to support libraries and work to keep addressing community needs. To have an idea about their commitment and willingness to work together, Marcel started conducting training workshops from September 2011 and group members proposed to have workshops only on weekends, to not stay away from their core roles often.

One big advantage for this impact group was the time at disposal, twice the time IPLM is left with. While getting inspired by the work done by these librarians, it motivated us to have such group formed of practicing librarians under IPLM. Like Romanian programme, IPLM had planned for introduction of new yet innovative services and introduced few of these services in many intervention libraries to create examples of model libraries, introduce ICT enabled services (like e-learning course for English language, new and improved children’s corner, career guidance and counselling services for youth and looping in support services for senior citizens in public libraries and pop-up tool for performance measurement.  To continue such efforts with an intention that not just intervention libraries and also other libraries (hub and spoke model) having an Impact Group would work as support system for such efforts. The relevance doesn’t stand true till the current programme timeline and also afterwards given the mass of public libraries (actual number of public libraries in India is yet to be confirmed) and huge demand for such services by library users. Few of these potential members among libraries have been identified and first training of the group is planned on 6th June. Meetings for this group will be organised on quarterly basis to build the momentum for post programme action planning and trainings organised will help members to keep the continuing benefits and outcomes under IPLM.

During his visit to India in November, 2016 Marcel Chiranov, Impact Assessment Consultant, introduced me to concept of Impact Group for sustaining impact of global libraries programme in Romania. This was time when IPLM (Indian Public Library Movement) programme was had just finished its results framework consumption with implementing partners and consultants from BMGF. Frankly, we at IPLM were more involved into programme roll-out – having strategies in place for domains like advocacy and communication, research and documentation, monitoring & evaluation and programme management related formats, reporting structures etc. During Marcel’s seven days visit to India, we discussed many times the relevance of having the impact group for IPLM (constituting of librarians who would be ready to volunteer, enthusiastic to walk extra mile, bringing in new ideas to making programme initiatives sustainable and working together towards making libraries as inclusive knowledge centers). While having these conversations, we always compared contextual differences between India and Romania – things true in Romania may necessary not work in Indian context and vice-versa. Off late, we found a common ground that all programme initiatives need a base or a support system to sustain more so when new services and practices are introduced and without a support system sustaining the impact generated and continuing its benefits would be more an assumption. While working for varied development sector related projects and initiatives what we have seen and learned is not everything works in similar way post programme, some benefits continue to remain for long and return of some diminish slowly. In case of highly successful initiatives, these benefits not only sustain the outcome and also progress to spread over after project completion. Here, something has been done differently which necessarily may not be true for all interventions – having a sustainable intervention model with support system to keep the outcomes or impact of programme intact. Marcel, my colleague had worked for something similar in Romania to sustain the impact of global libraries programme for long. With his passion for sustainable development he started an Impact Group – group of highly enthusiastic librarians who want to do something different for their libraries and were willing to join. The Romanian impact group was formed of thirteen members. Those people, acting as volunteers, without any administrative tasks came from their managers, started to work for the benefits of the Romanian librarians.  The group begin in August 2010, and until the end of the program, December 2014, they met every quarter, some years even five times. During this period, they produced three manuals for librarians, which proved to be extremely helpful for rural libraries, which are about 85% of Romanian libraries, having only one librarian.  Best practise in risk situation (advocacy examples), The guide for community services, and Methodologist Librarian Guide were very well received and few years after, the librarians are using them and speak about them.  It is worth to mention those three were the only manuals produced for the Romanian librarians in the last twenty-four years”. It has been two years and the group interacts frequently (physical and virtual meetings) to discuss what progress has been made and what new efforts are required. We must not forget these people could have also chosen not to work extra mile and still have been benefited by project like many others. However, they joined the group with a very high motivation to support libraries and work to keep addressing community needs. To have an idea about their commitment and willingness to work together, Marcel started conducting training workshops from September 2011 and group members proposed to have workshops only on weekends, to not stay away from their core roles often.
One big advantage for this impact group was the time at disposal, twice the time IPLM is left with. While getting inspired by the work done by these librarians, it motivated us to have such group formed of practicing librarians under IPLM. Like Romanian programme, IPLM had planned for introduction of new yet innovative services and introduced few of these services in many intervention libraries to create examples of model libraries, introduce ICT enabled services (like e-learning course for English language, new and improved children’s corner, career guidance and counselling services for youth and looping in support services for senior citizens in public libraries and pop-up tool for performance measurement.  To continue such efforts with an intention that not just intervention libraries and also other libraries (hub and spoke model) having an Impact Group would work as support system for such efforts. The relevance doesn’t stand true till the current programme timeline and also afterwards given the mass of public libraries (actual number of public libraries in India is yet to be confirmed) and huge demand for such services by library users. Few of these potential members among libraries have been identified and first training of the group is planned on 6th June. Meetings for this group will be organised on quarterly basis to build the momentum for post programme action planning and trainings organised will help members to keep the continuing benefits and outcomes under IPLM.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s