Reap Benefit - Updates Threead

  1. Overall updates (since the last update)

Hello everyone!

This is the first update from Reap Benefit on Grove.

We are on a mission to enable 1 million citizens to engage in civic & environmental problem solving in their local communities to reshape citizen participation & strengthen local self governance by 2025. In this endeavour, we are building and growing the Solve Ninja Movement of young everyday leaders who can mobilize ownership of their street, city, country; one act at a time.

In the last eight years, we have activated 50k + Solve Ninjas, who have taken 94k + civic actions, started 3143 campaigns and built 552 civic innovations to address local environment and civic issues across the country. This has saved 54.3 million litres of water, 1.7 million units of electricity and diverted 187 tonnes of waste from landfills.

  1. Progress on the goals listed while on-boarding

Solve Ninja Leadership Accelerator: We kicked off the third cohort of our Solve Ninja Leadership Accelerator program (previously called Civic Leader Incubator) in July. 22 enterprising individuals (14 of them are women leaders) from Guwahati, Kanpur, Hosur, Patiala and Faridkot among other places are a part of the program. They are either working on strengthening their social enterprises or building solutions for the problem statements they have been working on. Solving the solid waste segregation issues in Kanpur, village development plans, inclusive and accessible education for underserved children are a few problem statements the participants are working on. To see how the program has been designed, click here.

Solve Ninja Technology Platform: The platform (comprising the WhatsApp chatbot, IVRS, Neighbourhood Dashboard and WebApp) provides an easy to use interface that allows citizens to access data that can inform their participation in local environment and civic issues. It also allows them to input hyper-local data from their local communities, hence bridging the information gap, building community ownership of data and solutions, and making data more accessible to end stakeholders. We have initiated work to integrate the different tools across our technology platform. We have more than 68k registered users on the chatbot who have exchanged 1.16 million+ messages. We also have local elected representatives across India testing our Solve Ninja chatbot to engage with citizens in their constituencies

Playbooks: We have initiated a few experiments to use our civic-technology tools to create playbooks to provide citizens support as they take civic and environmental actions in their local communities.

Fixing blackspots using behaviour science nudges to clean and maintain garbage blackspots for 100 days

Call Your Representative to build a culture of calling and holding elected representatives accountable

Mapping Primary Health Care Centres Realizing the need for equitable immunization and healthcare delivery, we launched #ownyourPHC campaign that allowed crowdsourcing of 136 PHC audit responses and 255 citizen feedback on PHC/vaccine centres through our technology tools from various districts across India

  1. Any challenges

Communication has been our Achilles heel and we are struggling to share our learnings and failures consistently to the larger community. Movement building needs focussed communication as a way to galvanise citizens to start owning their streets, neighbourhoods and cities.

  1. Any new avenues of collaboration (with other Grantees of RCF or other NPO/NGO)

We have initiated conversations and partnered with organizations across various thematics- environment and climate change, local governance and 21st century life skills.

  1. MASS (Mahila Abhivrudhi Mattu Samrakshana Samsthe)- Belgaum, i-Saksham - Bihar, Sanjhe Sapne- Himachal Pradesh : implementing youth programs on environmental and civic problem solving in local communities
  2. Non-profit organizations alliance through GAME : Project aimed at building 21st century skills and entrepreneurial mindset
  3. Initiated conversations with Centre for Wildlife Studies, Water For People, CORO, Buzz Women, Kaivalya Education Foundation, Desh Apnayen Foundation among others to build momentum around civic and environmental problem solving through youth action and leadership
  1. Highlights from the initiatives being undertaken as part of your organization

Citizens driving government action: In collaboration with Indus Action and Bangalore Apartment Federation, citizens across the city made applications for 1,359 domestic workers via our WhatsApp chatbot to get COVID compensation by the government. In a powerful display of active citizenry, more than 16 lakh rupees will be sanctioned.

Solve Ninja Community Initiatives: In our bid to accelerate our mission, Solve Ninjas have started or will start creating communities across Karnataka (Bangalore, Hubli, Belgaum, Nelamangala), Tamil Nadu ( Chennai, Cuddalore), Punjab, Bihar and Himachal Pradesh. These Solve Ninjas have also experimented with communities around Local Policy (discussions, ideas around 73rd and 74th amendment and local climate) and Local Solutions ( to build and implement ideas to solve local issues ).

  1. Outcomes you are chasing for the next 6 months (these can remain the same if unchanged since the last update)

The outcomes we are chasing for the next 6 months (till March 2022) remain the same

  1. KPIs (please use this section to let us know of the impact and reach of your work since the last update)

This is our first update.

  1. Can Rainmatter be of help with anything at all
  1. Requesting connections with someone in the team who has worked on Grove. We have built the Solve Ninja forum with an aim to:
  • Mention local circulars and policies around the environment and civic issues ( city/village wise and someday even locality wise)
  • Mention all the best practices by citizens across the country
  • Have features like polls, ratings, etc; so that citizens can engage as well
  1. Nudge Expert: Our Solve Ninja Chatbot is approaching 100,000 users from different parts of the country ( Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, AP). The chatbot is currently being used by youth citizens from the age of ( 13-25) and also elected representatives to improve citizen engagement around local issues across the country. We are looking for someone, who can help us devise and execute nudge-based behaviour communication to motivate youth and citizens to take the small environment and civic actions in their neighbourhood.
  1. Any additional details you would like to provide

We have been recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of India’s Top 50 COVID-19 last mile responders. Our COVID relief work focussed on the underserved communities, and followed a decentralized approach through our citizen network and open technology tools (WhatsApp chatbot,dashboard and IVRS). It allowed us to bring together civil society organizations, citizens and governance systems to facilitate COVID relief work for more than 11.6 lakh people. During the second wave, we enabled delivery of 10,00 masks,102 Oxygen cylinders, 200 oximeters and 89 ration kits across Karnataka, Odisha, Assam, Nagaland. We were pivotal in the creation of COVID Bed Task Force, which allowed 20 non-profits in Bangalore to collaborate towards addressing duplication of bed requests in hospitals by centralizing request data and decentralizing fulfilment. More than 300 such requests were addressed in a span of two months. We initiated the #ownyourPHC campaign to crowdsource information regarding public health centres and their readiness in providing COVID relief support. We crowdsourced 136 PHC audit responses and 255 citizen feedback on PHC/vaccine centres through our technology tools from various districts across India. Highlighting our work, The Times of India published an article on the state of PHCs in Karnataka. We are also researching and collating COVID relief related best practices on the Solve Ninja Forum and are now working towards developing India’s first disaster management stack that allows a comprehensive mapping of vulnerable areas in specific geographies and innovating scalable delivery models to enable efficient relief support during future pandemic situations.

  1. Please also share any images or videos that you have documented as part of your work

The first session for the third cohort of Solve Ninja Leadership Accelerator in progress

1 Like

Thanks Sukriti - this is wonderful!

Overall updates (since the last update)

Hello everyone!
With a mission to enable 1 million citizens to engage in civic and environmental problem solving in their local communities by 2025, we are step by step growing the Solve Ninja Movement.

Since 2013, we have activated 50k + Solve Ninjas across 12 states in the country. They have taken 94k + civic actions, started 3143 campaigns and built 552 civic innovations to address local environment and civic issues across the country and this has helped save 54.3 million litres of water, 1.7 million units of electricity and divert 187 tonnes of waste from landfills.

With our ideology rooted in action, no matter how small, in the last three months we have worked towards strengthening our programs, partnering with organisations with similar values and ethos, and bolstering our tech capabilities to support citizens in mobilising ownership of their local neighbourhoods.

Progress on the goals listed while on-boarding

Solve Ninja Leadership Accelerator

Started with the intention of enabling civic leaders in building sustainable and climate resilient communities, we are approaching the end of the third cohort of the program in January 2022. The current cohort has 17 civic leaders (14 of them are women leaders!) working on issues of waste management, village water and sanitation, civic law and engagement and they were supported in designing campaigns, solutions and using technology to facilitate change. 9 participants in the cohort are social entrepreneurs, and Shriya and her organisation Project Sitara have already raised multiple rounds of funding! Another participant wants to contest local elections to drive better civic engagement.

Strengthen communities of adolescents and youth across different regions on environment and climate change mitigation themes like solutions, policy, technology, training etc

We realise that building and sustaining movements require rigour, consistency and commitment. To provide sustainability to our Solve Ninja Movement, we started building communities across different parts of the country to provide adolescents and youth who go through our programs or interact with our technology tools an avenue to continue interacting with like minded individuals.

We are currently nurturing 10 communities in Patiala, Amritsar, Bihar, Belgaum, Bangalore, Hubli, Nelamangala and Chennai with more than 150 members, who have taken ~50 environmental and civic actions. Our youth have also started two communities on building local solutions and strengthening local policies around civic and environmental issues.

Our Solutions Community and Solve Ninjas have been conducting Build-a-thons to empower citizens to create DIY solutions in response to civic and environmental issues. In one such Build-a-thon, the Solve Ninjas created and installed DIY air quality monitors called Breathe across 6 different parts of Bangalore to monitor the status of PM 2.5 in the air. The sensors give data by the minute and help assess the variation in air quality across different parts of the city. We have received funding support from Bangalore Sustainability Forum to test the installation of such monitors on electric vehicles in an attempt to map air quality on the go.

Strengthen RB technology capacities to each citizens and communities across different geographies, enable collaboration and informed decision making on climate change mitigation

The open civic platform - including the WhatsApp chatbot, Neighbourhood Dashboard and Knowledge Forum is aiding citizens across different parts of the country in flexing their civic muscle and solving civic and public problems in their local communities.

The Solve Ninja chatbot has 72K+ registered users who have exchanged around 19 lakh messages with the chatbot. A simple tool such as a WhatsApp chatbot has been used across multiple use cases-mapping potholes, auditing public toilets and public health centres, & sending nudges to citizens to take civic actions. The chatbot is also engaging 917 adolescents in an interactive water saving game. They have taken more than 200+ water saving actions, which have the potential to save 24 lakh litres of water. In another instance, in response to the rains and flooding in Chennai, we mobilised citizens across the city to use the chatbot to map water-logging spots in their neighbourhoods. In 72 hours, we were able to get 700+ users interacting with the chatbot to map 410 such spots in Chennai, which got mapped on our Neighbourhood Dashboard.

The Solve Ninja Forum has been designed as an avenue for citizen driven hyper-local discussions on local problems, solutions, policy and best practises. With features like Ask Me Anything, DIY problem solving citizen solutions, the forum currently houses 160+ posts to drive conversations towards civic and environmental problem solving. We are working towards improving the diversity of content and getting communities to engage and contribute to the forum.

Create playbooks with behaviour nudges on themes around environment and climate change

In our endeavour to enable more and more citizens to take problem solving actions in their local communities, we are working towards building a nationwide repository of citizen led solutions and nudges. Designed on principles of shared value creation, enabling agency and amplifying actions, two such playbooks on saving water and fixing blackspots are ready. You can check them here. In the pipeline are 35 crowdsourced playbooks on the themes of: Water, Sanitation, Waste Management, Energy and Citizenship that will be made available on our website and Solve Ninja Forum, and also disseminated via our Chatbot.

Any challenges

We initiated the process of building regional communities to provide sustainability and consistency to the Solve Ninja Movement. We wanted to have a mechanism that allowed the Ninjas who go through our programs to have opportunities to stay connected with the mission and other such problem solving Ninjas around the country.

As we are building such communities with the adolescents and youth in different parts of Karnataka, Punjab, Bihar and Chennai- we have found it challenging to sustain engagement of our Ninjas over a long period of time. While we have been staying in regular touch, we have also used the solve ninja chatbot to send regular nudges to support them in taking problem solving actions in their local communities.

We are now working towards understanding and learning from how communities have been formed and sustained in the past by various other organisations and trying to codify that process to help the Solve Ninja communities become self-sustainable in nature.

Any new avenues of collaboration (with other Grantees of RCF or other NPO/NGO)

Our partners across different parts of the country are helping us take the Solve Ninja Movement far and wide.

  1. In Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan, we are doing a pilot across 40 schools with Kaivalya Education Foundation to enable adolescents and young change leaders address water issues in the district
  2. Our 30 school pilot with the education department of the Andhra Pradesh government is now being scaled up to reach 300 schools across the state. With Global Alliance of Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME) as the lead partner, Udhyam Learning Foundation, Reap Benefit, Maker Ghat and Aflatoun International contributed as implementing partners. 450 students were engaged via chatbot based quizzes. We lent our vetted skills assessment questionnaire as part of the program M&E to measure positive shifts in two skills- critical thinking and creativity along with a mindshift in grit. The positive shifts observed were as follows-3.58% in critical thinking, 3.25% in creativity, 4.49% in grit, 6.95% in self efficacy.
  3. With Sajhe Sapne, we mobilised adolescent and youth girls in Kandbari,Himachal Pradesh to take 50+ civic and public problem solving actions in a month’s time.
  4. In Belgaum, we worked Mahila Abhivrudhi Mattu Samrakshana Samsthe (MASS) and engaged young adults to take 150+ actions which ranged from village cleanliness drives to working with the local panchayat leaders. 10 of these Ninjas will continue to work with us in taking the movement forward and mobilising more adolescents and youth to take ownership of their communities.
  5. With i-Saksham in Jamui and Munger in Bihar, we engaged with Solve Ninjas to solve issues around water conservation, low attendance in schools, inactive parent participation in school activities among others.
  6. With Kick-Off Solutions, we are mentoring 10 adolescent girls from central tribal regions in the country to become change leaders in their local communities
  7. We are in conversation with Biome to help well diggers map recharge wells through the use of Solve Ninja chatbot. In Mumbai, we are going to start working with SNEHA to empower 24 youth to become community leaders. We are also in conversations with Roundglass Foundation in Punjab, Avantika Foundation in Karnataka and Desh Apnayen Sahayog Foundation in Maharashtra to mentor and support adolescents and youth change leaders.

Highlights from the initiatives being undertaken as part of your organisation

We recently got selected as one of the most impactful and scalable education innovations under [HundrED’s spotlight on Holistic Education]. We were one of the only 9 innovations selected from a pool of 170 applicants and reviewed by 128 advisory board members. While we feel honoured to be recognised for helping to challenge, engage and excite learners as well as those within their communities, we also realise how pivotal our work is in building everyday leadership among the adolescents and youth of our country.

WISE Summit- Kuldeep Dantewadia, CEO and Co-founder Reap Benefit spoke on a panel discussion on changing the game with 21st century skills at the WISE Summit organised by the Qatar Foundation. You can access the recording here- Changing the Game With 21st Century Skills | 2021 WISE Summit - YouTube

#WeWantCorporator- The delay of BBMP Corporator elections left Bangalore without local corporators for more than a year, shifting the onus on the policy makers who have little expertise in such proceedings. Unaddressed civic issues, with no one to hold accountable for propelled Archana KR, our very own team member to lead the voice of dissent and begin a campaign to pressurise the higher functionaries to conduct elections and address civic issues. In three days, we had 13,000+ people engaging with the campaign, 111 re-tweets, and 6 Bangalore local organisations backing us up.

Grama Ninjas: We initiated our Grama Ninja (grama: rural) program last year in Hubli, Nelamangala and Dakshin Kannada. We trained 13 youth to become mentors through our train the trainer model. They have activated 500 Solve Ninjas to take more than 280 civic and environmental problem solving actions. In one such case, Nagagowda mobilised 25 Grama Ninjas to run a campaign to rejuvenate the village pond. The campaign got 80 supporters and the issue was reported to the Panchayat Office for action. In a strong demonstration of civic action, Nagagowda and his Grama Ninjas are awaiting government action. In Hubli, Basamma Ma’am and her army of 6 Solve Ninjas realised that the local pond needed cleaning up. With their problem solving hats on, they removed 1000 kilos of waste and rallied people around to set up community protocols to ensure a safe and clean community pond. We are attaching a before and after photo of the pond in images. From GHPS school, Dinni, Hindi teacher Rawaturao Barur supported school students to identify leakages in the overhead tank. Flexing their civic muscle, the students dug pits to collect water and use it for the plants in and around the school. They are recycling ~400 litres of water everyday!

Outcomes you are chasing for the next 6 months (these can remain the same if unchanged since the last update)

We are on track to:

  1. Strengthen and enable self sustainability of the 10 regional communities in our program locations
  2. Publish at least 4 crowdsourced playbooks to enable civic and environmental problem solving among citizens
  3. Initiate the next cohort of Solve Ninja Leadership Accelerator
  4. Initiate rollout of a marketplace for DIY environment products and solutions through Chatbot
  5. Start developing 1 open source online platform to enable adolescents and youth to take climate change mitigation actions with support from RB tools and projects. The dashboard is going to support mapping of climate change indicators for 5 different regions

We have however not been able to organise a knowledge sharing event with partners to drive conversations and collaborations towards building youth capacities and tools for climate change and civic problem solving. In lieu of the rising COVID cases, we feel that this might get pushed to later.

KPIs (please use this section to let us know of the impact and reach of your work since the last update)

  1. 17 change leaders are completing their 6 month journey as a part of the Solve Ninja Leadership Accelerator
  2. 10 regional Solve Ninja communities with 150 members across Bangalore, Chennai, Patiala, Amritsar, Bihar, Nelamangala and Hubli are helping build sustainability for the Solve Ninja Movement
  3. 2 persona based communities on Solutions and Policy to build youth momentum and enable action
  4. The Solve Ninja chatbot with 72k+ registered users is supporting citizens in various civic and environmental problem solving use cases. It’s engaging 917 adolescents in a water saving game, mapping water logged areas during Chennai rains, mapping potholes and state of public toilets in Bengaluru, reporting local issues and many more
  5. We have partnered with various organisations like Unilever, Kaivalya Education Foundation, Kick-Off Solutions among others to help strengthen the ecosystem and build young change leaders working towards civic and environmental consciousness

Can Rainmatter be of help with anything at all
We are seeing huge potential in the Solve Ninja chatbot to nudge and support citizens in taking actions. We have observed around 30% of the registered users engaging with the chatbot and ~1% taking action via the nudges sent. In the next 6 months, we aspire to take chatbot user engagement to 70% and increase in citizens taking actions to 10% and in that endeavour we are looking for support in digital marketing and behaviour change nudge experts.

Any additional details you would like to provide

The Before and After images of the pond cleaning actions taken by Basamma Ma’am and her Solve Ninjas