Panoply Digital is busy with developing a training curriculum for upcoming workshops for our partner the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and their partner network afield. We are doing several such two-day training events in the upcoming months with the first one being Kathmandu, Nepal in a few weeks with subsequent trainings in Argentina, Kenya, Jordan, and more. These training sessions are on monitoring & evaluation (M&E), polling & surveying, communication and more using ICT. They are designed to build capacity across all these sectors but also to have participants to begin to view them as interrelated parts of a larger process. We run projects, we monitor & evaluate those projects, we collect data to support that work, and we communicate that work to our communities and beyond. Accessible, practical, and (at least in my mind) stimulating training.
We will use tools that work in high and low resource environments: VotoMobile to collect data, possibly TextIt, Signal to communicate and more. We want participants to be able to reach further than they have been able to before to give voice to often marginalized populations. Women, in particular.
So what is truly exciting are the participating organizations themselves. The training is bringing together several women’s business associations throughout the region: Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India. These are organizations that perform many functions: providing entrepreneurial training for women, advocacy for policy, projects for greater inclusion of women in the workforce. From Nepal, we have the Federation of Woman Entrepreneurs’ Associations of Nepal (FWEAN) and their work with the LWF project to increase women’s access to employment, skills, and enterprise development in sectors like compost, farming, crafts, beekeeping, and more. In Sri Lanka, we have the Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce Sri Lanka (WCIC) and their mentoring programs to assist all women entrepreneurs to gain the knowledge required to manage and plan their finances and grow their business through regular meetings and mentoring relationships.
In Pakistan, we have the South Punjab Women chamber of Commerce and Industry (SPWCCI) and their work on to bolster capacity in women entrepreneurs in South Punjab and to provide facilitation for growth and development of trade & industry through advocacy and representation. We have the Women’s Resource Center – Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WRC—LCCI) organizes basic training on sales and marketing & financial management, through workshops, seminars, delegations, and exhibitions to redress the lack of women’s services and empower women through information, support and education. We have the Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peshawar (WCCIP) and in Bangladesh, we have the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) and their many projects on enabling poor women's benefits from enhanced access to energy in Hatiya Island, to rural women entrepreneurs skill development training, to projects on stress reduction for women’s entrepreneurs.
In India, the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Karnataka (AWAKE) is incredibly active with projects on promoting computer literacy among 1000 micro-entrepreneurs and youth, to developing maize-based value-added health foods for nutritional supplementation, involving SHG women and farmers as stake-holders right form production, processing and marketing, to the Rural Industrial Programs (RIP) in Koppal and Gulbarga districts through awareness, EDP and skill training for women with the aim of creating opportunities for establishment of small scale industries in those areas. To round out the participants, we have the Association of Lady Entrepreneurs of India (ALEAP) to their diverse work in entrepreneurial training, to credit guarantee associations and much much more.
If you can’t get excited about the possibility of contributing to the capacity of these organizations to serve their communities, to include more and more women in business, even in the smallest way, you are in the wrong business. This is the type of development work where we at Panoply Digital see some of the greatest impact. These organizations and their work are precisely the kind of organizations that drew Panoply Digital together in the first instance. We are just thrilled to be a part of it.