Innovating Together: Udaipur Sprint


JULY 21, 2023


This blog is written by Sourav Singh from Quest Alliance

I went to Udaipur for a sprint hosted by tech4dev in July 2023, here is how it went ..

Inclusive, productive, and (wait for it) legendary! When my supervisor coaxed me into joining the Goa Sprint, little did I know that I would soon be partaking in an enthralling saga of these well-planned sprints.

Fast forward to the Udaipur Sprint, my second venture of this kind.

We ( folks at Quest Alliance ) had created a chatbot named ikki to introduce middle school students to computational thinking. We had already conducted a pilot and had received feedback and praise for it. Now we wanted to take it to the next level and hence our goal for the sprint was clear :

  • Engage in conversations with fellow NGOs and gather insights – what worked wonders and what was better off forgotten.
  • Tackle the newly-released glific features with our chatbot and master them to avoid any misadventures.

I reached Udaipur in the evening and carpooled with Aman, an intern for Glific under C4GT. After a brief introduction, our conversation naturally gravitated towards tech, and before we knew it, we had already reached our destination. We also had to take a detour, since I had put the wrong destination, but who knows that. Hehe.

On the next day, we went for a morning walk, trying to figure out if there was a way to the Monsoon Palace situated on the neighboring hill close to our accommodation. After wandering for a while we realized none of the trails lead up there, and thus decided to retreat. And after a fulfilling meal and a refreshing shower, I collected my belongings and proceeded to the conference room for the planned sessions.

During the session, I met the Avni team and learnt about their remarkable efforts in assisting field workers with their data collection platform. And since I already knew about the data development platform (Kaapi?) they have been working on, it suddenly dawned on me how the team at tech4dev was developing an end to end solution to address data needs – which is one crucial area where NGOs tend to struggle.

Following the session, we had a tea break, during which I stumbled upon multi-flavored KitKats, courtesy of a mysterious benefactor (perhaps Lobo?). After the break, I resumed work sessions and collaborated with the Glific team to address the challenges I was facing. With their guidance and support, we successfully enabled the desired features on our chatbots, making them fully functional and ready to go.

Meeting the C4GT interns was a blast! They were a cool bunch, and to my surprise, they hadalready fulfilled my pre-sprint feature request – tagging flows for better organization. Consultancy companies, take notes from these speedsters!

After exchanging feedback and sharing side project stories, it was time for another much-needed break. Post break, we listened in awe as NGOs shared their experiences.

One thing resonated across all stories: tech woes – whether dealing with consultancies or half-baked solutions. This realization made the mission of organizations like tech4dev all the more meaningful. Kudos to the tech4dev crew for their amazing work!

Finally, we wrapped up for the day – or so I thought.

During mealtime, there was an open and enthusiastic atmosphere as people chatted about their projects, unique problem statements, and even shared humorous stories of bugs they encountered. This is why I adore working in the social sector— the passion and dedication of individuals for their work is truly inspiring and the camaraderie among everyone is simply delightful!

The following days mirrored the previous ones – with engaging talks, QnAs, and work sessions. Surprisingly productive? You bet! Before a talk even commenced, we had already mastered the feature, tested it, and had insightful discussions about it. I kid you not, I blinked and it was dinner time.

This time we gathered on the rooftop for some karaoke fun! Of course, initially, no one dared to take the mic, but soon enough, everyone was joining in the singing frenzy. The gentle breeze caressed us as we all gazed at the magnificent Monsoon Palace, awestruck by its beauty. And another day passed …

Despite the late-night revelry, our spirits remained high as we decided to take a stroll around the enchanting Fateh Sagar. It was indeed quite a long walk, but the scenic view made every step worthwhile. Afterward, we hopped into a cab for our journey back and managed to reach the sessions just in the nick of time, phew!

During the sessions, we had engaging talks, filled out questionaires, and engaged in discussions about tech4dev and fractional CxOs. The concept of fractional CXOs working with NGOs was thought provoking, as we learned about their experiences.

This was the final day so after the sessions, we left to conquer the Monsoon Palace after a rough ride uphill, we reached the Monsoon Palace – yay! We asked people passing by to take our group photo several times because someone was always missing. Meanwhile, Lobo checked if the trails we were following actually led to the Monsoon Palace.

And thus concluded the Udaipur Sprint – an adventurous, collaborative, and fun-filled escapade with tech, laughter, and camaraderie that left us all with cherished memories!

People from below listed orgs were part for the sprint. Check out what they are working on, you may find something interesting.

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