This blog is written by Rituparna Das, Dost Education
This blog is an attempt at encapsulating the experiences, emotions and takeaways from the Glific Sprint organized by the Tech4Dev team in Jan’23!
Go Goa they said!
This was Kriti & my first sprint with the Glific team and of course it preceded some amount of nervousness; as we both wanted to do a good job, at not just making the most out of this experience but being able to share the work that we do with everyone present (the Tech4Dev team & NGO partners). Our jitters turned out to be pretty baseless as over the next two days, we just had an unbelievable amount of organic collaboration over shared experiences and compelling visions that could trigger positive change…
Let me try and break it down a bit!
What do we do at Dost?
All parents are motivated to give their children the best education, but many resource constrained families struggle to do so, particularly in the early years (0-6 years)! At Dost, we leverage the untapped motivation in parents and the prevalence of mobile technology to bring quality education to those who need it the most.
We want to ensure that every caregiver in India has access to high quality Early Stimulation Resources that can help them practice and sustain caregiving practices that aid their child’s early development using a multi-pronged systemic approach to reach all caregivers and to ensure the Anganwadi cadre in the govt. is equipped to sustain it in the long term.
How does Glific fit in all this?
A big part of our problem solving effort thrives on experimentation & feedback based quick iterations. While the current phonecast product uses IVRs technology to reach our caregivers, we realized an innate need to introduce a WhatsApp based chatbot for a more experiential user experience and targeted support with not just caregivers but with our Anganwadi workers who are responsible for the last mile delivery of our program on the field.
Breaking down problems & solutioning with the Glific & Goalkeep teams!
What started as small isolated WhatsApp chatbot based experiments on Glific is now serious business! Our design sprints explicitly brought out the need for integrating ways for seamless user experience with responses from users that would tell exactly of how useful or otherwise our program was for them. This, of course is a given for any product/ program where we test & iterate based on getting the desired response to a few key questions for the target audience! But, what happens when your key questions are directed towards mindsets, while your audience/ user base is just as ambiguous , diverse and not familiar with navigating the platform the way you visualize? How do we collect, store & analyze such data sets across data sources at scale?
Here’s how we tried to tackle the above with the Glific & the Goalkeep teams during the sprint…
Because our users were both caregivers and Anganwadi workers, we crafted clear use cases for both with key questions that could help us gauge whether the aforesaid user was getting benefitted from the program. The Glific team helped us re-imagine our chat flows on Whatsapp and shared helped us make it not just more experiential but intentional while we think of data collection and comparing. The integrations like using Google dialogue flow etc. by other NGOs also exemplified things for us. What we now sought for us was a way to bring all this together. A way to consolidate data from multiple data sources, get a more accurate measurement of key metrics for different programs leading to making quick changes in program design or implementation. This is where the Goalkeep team came in for us and helped us tie all of this together. Based on our use case, the Goalkeep team mapped our needs and helped us visualize solutions on a common platform using DDP (Development Data Platform),
that was automated to consolidate data from multiple data sources and help us accurately measure user responses to our key metrics! We are currently working to further this by understanding Glific’s data model better with the help of the Glific team, together with Goalkeep.
Of Collaboration & Commitments…
While the above is just an example of what collaboration looked like during the sprint. It’s needless to say that we were inspired and awed by how other NGOs were tackling similar problems with the Glific chatbot. Our conversations seem to have triggered a chain of sharing best practices, as well as continuing our experiment driven approach to be able to tackle similar problems collectively!
To many more such sprints with our firm belief in the power of collective action while keeping Dr. Seuss in our hearts as he says; “With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.”