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Fiinovation has been successfully bridging the gap between businesses and communities through value based sustainable CSR activities in the sectors of health, environment, education and livelihood. The motive has been to inspire innovative thinking and enhancing quality across social development modules. Fiinovation through its unique in house "Proposal Research & Design Laboratory" assists in conceptualizing and designing programmes/ frameworks through the application of scientific and rational research tools that are more effective and result oriented.

 

Health

A staggering 70% of India's population lives in rural areas and has no or limited access to hospitals and other health institutions. Compare this to the fact that more than three-fourth of the specialist doctors reside in the urban areas. No wonder, we were unable to reach the Millennium Development Goal indicators pertaining to health, and fell woefully short of the intended target. The root of the problem lies in the primary healthcare system of our country. It is observed that rural primary health centers have shortages of more than 3000 doctors, and with accessibility and affordability being two other core issues, the problem gets compounded. The Government does not spend adequately towards healthcare. In fact the country's expenditure in 2016 as a share of its GDP is lower than the expenditure of even low-income countries, as classified by World Bank (graph below).

Another important reason why community health interventions do not achieve the results that it intends to, is due to the fact that they only focus on the service delivery component, without imparting simultaneous strong sensitisation and awareness on the health issues in the community.

The key challenges and areas of concern that requires innovation and focused efforts includes the following, amongst others

  • Improvement in primary healthcare infrastructure facilities
  • Availability of quality health service providers in the community
  • The healthcare systems and policies developed on the lines of addressing the concerns of inadequate skilled medical practitioners, and ensuring effective and affordable medication are available on time
  • Build a strong knowledge base in the community on various health issues
  • Develop strong referral linkages and timely follow ups

Keeping the above in mind, we design evidence-based comprehensive programmatic interventions, basis primary and secondary researches. These studies inform the intervention, wherein individual and collective actions address the issue with system synthesis and a trans-disclipinary approach. We work to facilitate this holistic approach and contribute to change the ground realities through CSOs which act as strategic implementation partners. We believe that civil societies' ground expertise, corporate sector's responsibilities, and Government's infrastructural support can work cohesively towards a healthy future.

Education

Despite being one of the fastest growing economies, India has been struggling towards meeting the challenge of ensuring even basic universal elementary education for all. As per Census 2011, India's literacy rate is at 74.04% and gender literacy gap is noted to be at 16.68%. It also reveals that about 32 million children aged between 6 to13 years have never attended any educational institution. Such figures clearly depict the amount of concerted effort that is required towards improving the education status even at elementary level. India has a significant task of mainstreaming a huge chunk of population into education continuum. Over the years, the country has endeavoured towards achieving a fulfilling education status; and for the same, India is constantly exploring strategies through which knowledge and skills can be imparted. The key challenges and areas of concern that requires innovation and focused efforts for overcoming the same, includes the following:-

  • establishing basic infrastructure,
  • ensuring functional amenities,
  • increasing availability of trained teachers,
  • improving quality of teaching-learning,
  • strengthening pedagogies and research,
  • development of relevant, dynamic, child/learner friendly learning material and availability of such material in languages that the learner is acquainted with and through various modes
  • introducing technology driven learning opportunities 
  • enhancing the provision of affordable skill enhancement facilities (supportive and advanced learning services/center/technical institutions),
  • creating environment for inclusion and equity; and eliminating disparities in education (particularly gender disparity)
  • building community-owned/driven education interventions for greater ownership and accountability
  • developing strong public-private partnerships
  • strengthening monitoring and evaluation process

To meet these mammoth set of challenges, adequate and continued financial (and supporting) resources are of paramount importance. However, a fluctuating trend has been observed in terms of governmental investment/expenditure in the education sector. In the year 2016, there has been an increase in the budgetary allocation for education i.e. Rs.72,394 crore which is a 4.9% increase compared to the previous year, indicating a positive change. Inspite of increased allocation, education sector budget remains far from 6 per cent of the GDP, which is a prerequisite of the education sector. A silver lining is that the budget allocation for the education sector is expected to rise by 10-12% this year, doubling the quantum of increase from the previous year.

The challenges need to be looked with a broader vision of creating/developing opportunities through collaborative interventions to bridge the existing gap. It is here where Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and corporations can partner to assist the government in pooling human, technical and financial resources through innovative approach thereby strengthening the education system in the country leading to sustained social and economic transformation and empowerment of all sections of the population.

In light of the above emerging scenario, we play a crucial role in creating opportunities by bringing the right partners together for investing in strategic and innovative implementable education projects for desirable change as a part of the affirmative action. The institution through its practices conceptualises interventions focusing on elementary education, secondary education, adult education, vocational education, inclusive and integral education and computer led learning.

Environment

It is an unequivocal truth that environment plays an important role in maintaining and improving the health of people and ecosystems - from the well-managed soils and nutrients that underpin food production to the critical role of biodiversity in protecting human health against the spread of infectious diseases. Clean air in our cities can prevent the premature deaths and illness of millions of people and which can save society billions of rupees.

Data shows that since the 1980s, the incidence of extreme weather events has accelerated manifold, be it floods, droughts or storms. India too is feeling the heat of global warning. The climate related disasters are increasing in India, along with the devastating heat wave and the weakening of average monsoon rainfall, more frequent rainfall extremes can be seen as harbingers of India's future climate.

The above chart shows rising natural disasters owing to climate change. According to a UN climate panel report, to curb global warming at 2 degrees Celsius, the world can only emit between 800 billion and 880 billion tonnes of carbon. Of this, about 530 billion tonnes had already been emitted by 2011. While the GDP figures has been soaring, however on the contrary it doesn't takes into account the negative externalities. There are ample grounds to establish the fact that the economy's inclusive wealth has declined in recent decades despite higher GDP.

Although Government and other private sector players are putting in concerted efforts to work for the environment yet due to limited resources for monitoring & evaluation little is known about the impact of such initiatives. At the same time, little has been done in partnership with government authorities, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and CSR initiatives.

The key challenges and areas of concern that requires focused efforts includes the following:

  • Combining community participation towards prevention of air pollution
  • Management of water resources and curbing water pollution
  • Solid waste management
  • Promotion of low carbon growth mechanism
  • Alternative energy development
  • Climate smart agricultural practices

The need of the hour is to bring about a change not only in production mechanisms in agricultural and industrial sector but also in the overall lifestyle and consumption habits for sustainable utilization of resources and environmental conservation. We design interventions under the thematic area of Environment keeping in mind the above points. Our empaneled CSOs lend credibility to these programs which are customised according to the social vision of the corporate houses and need of the implementation area.

Livelihood

Livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets (including both material and social resources) and activities which act as prerequisites for a means of living. Nowadays, sectoral experts and academicians are debating more and more on the topics such as livelihood security and sustainable livelihood frameworks, that range from primary sector (agriculture) to secondary sector (manufacturing) to tertiary sector (services).

Of late, skill development sector has garnered lot of attention and focus from the Government who has invested hugely to promote inclusive growth through massive poverty reduction and entitlements based programs, such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, National Rural Livelihood Mission and National Skill Development Corporation.

Estimates suggest that 500 Mn skilled workforce will be required by 2022. Presently, only 7% of youth has received some kind of formal or informal vocational trainings and as a result mostly remain unemployed. Even the Skill Attractiveness Study reveals that employers put more emphasis on skills such as technical skills, interpersonal skills and result orientation of youth in comparison to other skills. In this context, it is pertinent to mention that development programmes and schemes like Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), Jan Dhan Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana; Initiatives like Make in India, Start up India campaigns have been instrumental in imparting skills, incubating community led models and steering India towards a youthful nation.

The major areas that require focused efforts and innovative approach are as follows:

  • Facilitate youth specific skills training across service sectors
  • Promote technology based interventions that can boost agricultural growth
  • Develop simple models that impact livelihood productivity rate
  • Facilitate Entrepreneurship Development (EDP) programmes
  • Engage with the present and emerging markets, with a demand driven approach

Keeping in mind these concerns, Fiinovation is committed to create impact in the value chain at each level, be it farm or non-farm service sub-sectors, through simple, scalable and replicable interventions.

To develop a sustainable livelihood framework, it is mandatory that the implementing partners, corporations and government align themselves towards a single goal. Fiinovation realises this and plays a crucial role by bridging the gap between these stakeholders and creating a partnership model. We mentor and capacitate Civil Society Organisations as well as support corporations to devise CSR policies that address community livelihood needs in an