CREATIVE DIGNITY, India

Creative Dignity is a movement that has brought together diverse creative producers, practitioners and professionals to energise the ecosystem that Indian artisans need in this time of COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 impact. The focus is to provide relief, and rejuvenation of the artisans in a bid to ensure their sustained prosperity

Trainings

Soolkaama’s Sandeep Dhopate, is part of the governing council, working with other organisations to mobilise resources in a bid to train artisan’s in digital literacy. Through the pandemic and the lockdowns Soolkaama has conducted several online workshops with artisan’s in rural towns to teach them product photography. Unlike, several online workshops where the tutors talk through a presentation, we conducted live, practical classes of showing how one could produce great product photos using cheap and locally available resources. Following are some of the results of these workshops

Social Media Strategy

Early on during the movement in May 2020, Soolkaama led the efforts to develop an advertising strategy and collaborated with an advertising agency to set up a content publishing process to promote the work done by Creative Dignity. We set up and managed a digital tool that allowed several volunteers from all over the country to share content with the agency. Soolkaama also curated the content to ensure each post was optimised for maximum impact. The tool gathered analytical data on posts published to further fine tune content quality and maximise audience reach. In just 1 month, we were able to clock nearly 15000 impressions per post and since then, the teams that have taken over the tasks have been able to take that number even higher.

Technology

Another area where Soolkaama provided support to the movement was in setting up the technical tools required to several activities such as – 

  1. Vendor Management system – This system allows artisans to set up their own personal e-stores on creative dignity’s website. Artisans and volunteers create their individual user id’s and through an easy to navigate user interface upload the product data onto the website. Online market places have their representatives set up as wholesale buyers who can browse through the products and connect directly with the seller if they are interested in any of them. This way, creative dignity is able to provide the much needed market linkages to the artisans and that too at a scale that is manageable by a small volunteer team.
  2. Project Management system – Along with unite external stakeholders, the volunteer teams also had to communicate internally with each other across state border to make sure there was some order maintained amongst the various activities carried out by different teams. Soolkaama help set up a project management tool, that allows project leaders to set milestones, create tasks and also automate the process of tracking the progress of individual tasks. The system allows everyone on the team to know about all the projects being worked on and gives visibility to the progress of the overall movement. It is also an important tool to document the important work done by so many people. This documentation helps new volunteers to get up to speed quickly and start being productive at the earliest. 
  3. Volunteer registration system – This was another pain point within teams as project leaders from different states had their own system of onboarding volunteers. Soolkaama developed a unified online registration system that allowed visibility to everyone on the total number of active volunteers and also the projects they were working on. 
  4. Event Management system – Soolkaama set up an online event management system to help the movement publish upcoming webinars, zoom calls etc. both for internal as well as external stakeholders. Users can create their own events and invite audiences to RSVP to them. Instead of having to send out emails, we now have a system that is public and displays the events one might be interested in. The calendar is also protected in that, external stakeholders have restricted access to events or meetings that are internal. 
  5. Custom scripts – Data collection at the grassroots level was done predominantly through MS Excel sheets. This was causing a lot of data to be erroneous or inconsistent (for eg. some spelt β€œmumbai”, while some spelt β€œBombay”). Soolkaama developed scripts that checked standard data items for consistency and put relevant validations in place to ensure data entered by volunteers in the excel sheet required minimal correction by the central data management teams.