JANUARY 23, 2023

Hands on support to adopt WhatsApp chatbot for social impact – Glific bootcamps

By Abhishek Sharma

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It always feels great to add new NGOs to our cohort of Glific users – their new programs, new curiosity, new context and an enthusiasm to use the latest technologies to make an impact on their communities. By now we have supported and worked with about 60+ NGOs, and I understand how difficult it can be for non profits to add new technology to their workflows. For example in our latest addition of Piramal Foundation for whom communicating with their large number of NGO partners is such a big challenge and the communication has to be relayed through a hierarchy of team members to get to the final beneficiary. Their approach to solve this problem using WhatsApp chatbot using Glific seems inspiring and it’s a problem worth solving! While any NGO can start using Glific at any time they choose, we also have yearly Bootcamps which can provide a lot more hands-on support to adopt Glific much faster (in a matter of days).

Bootcamp underway, now I wish I had taken these conversations down to the beach.

We have structured the Glific bootcamp such that NGOs get complete, in-depth support from the Glific team to launch a small use case in 2 days. Our approach at the bootcamp involved the following:

  • We plan and design conversation flows for WhatsApp chatbot for the intended users of NGOs
  • We introduce the NGOs to the basics of WhatsApp business API and everything they need to know when adopting it (you can read it here also)
  • We demonstrate how conversations can be designed, how data can be collected through WhatsApp and how to think about reporting and monitoring of the programs
  • We show some case studies to get a sense of how other have been using Glific
  • This is followed by actually creating the flows on the Glific and then testing it on phones

Without the bootcamp, the entire process is generally done by the NGO point person alone which may take a lot more time because the person in charge may have many other responsibilities. But since the Glific team offers significant support in getting the chatbot up and running, the regular route also works for the NGOs who might have missed the bootcamp. In my opinion, adopting a new technology is as big a challenge as creating one. As creators of Glific, we also ensure that NGOs have avenues to easily adopt the tech platform. And Bootcamps or support channels are our way to enable easy adoption. Please feel free to write to us if you’d like to launch your own programs.

Glific walkthrough to the participating NGOs

The recent Glific bootcamp happened in Goa from Jan 16 to 20. As much as I enjoy having my head in the cloud(pun on our cloud services), it’s also a great experience working with people in-person. Our participating NGOs were supercharged to launch their program. It was amazing to see them pour all their energy in building their flow and launching their use case. I hope they made the best of their in-person presence with the Glfiic team and I wish them great impact. We will continue to work with them over the next few months to support their programs and help them achieve the goals they aspire to.

Saurabh from Piramal Foundation presenting what he accomplished during the bootcamp.

A few additional takeaways for me from the bootcamp are: 

  • Besides the hours spent on the bootcamp, moments outside work in a great location allowed us to connect with the NGOs to understand more about them, the context and the philosophy they work with.  
  • Exchange of ideas with other NGOs can inspire and enrich what one is doing. This time we even had Ooloi labs give a sneak peak into their design thinking process which can help NGOs elevate their chatbot impact.
  • It can be a great exposure and a learning opportunity for NGO representatives to share their work in front of a very different audience and possibly get constructive questions.

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