Jaaga Sustain builds on primary research carried out with 33 stakeholders as part of Project Sphere. Project Sphere focused on Bangalore-centric approaches to solve challenges around the resource areas of air, energy, food, waste and water. The research framework and most of the responses have been released into the open domain. A brief summary of the research is presented below.
We followed a user-centred design research process formulated by our design expert, Shaona Sen. The process took in stages of:
- Stakeholder identification and interviews per a pre-defined questionnaire
- Visual synthesis
- Stakeholder workshop
- Research assessment and reporting
- How might we identify Bangalore’s socio-environmental needs?
- What is the role of entrepreneurs in addressing these local needs?
- How might we understand the current resources available for entrepreneurs in the socio-environmental space to reach their goals?
- How might we assess the need of entrepreneurs in the socio-environmental space to work in a collaborative space?
- How might we trace the overlap of specific socio-environmental issues entrepreneurs are addressing?
- Based on the outcome of points 1–5, how might Jaaga best identify, assess and strengthen entrepreneurs in the socio-environmental space through a collaborative platform?
The stakeholders came from across the spectrum of organisations and individuals working on environmental challenges - from young startups to government bodies to researchers. We spoke with a total of 33 stakeholders and their diverse viewpoints were critical to develop a wholesome understanding of the challenges and the ecosystem.
- All stakeholders clearly state interconnectedness of socio-environmental challenges yet make no efforts in holistic approach to address challenges
- There is no structured platform for entrepreneurs in Bangalore’s socio-environmental sector to actively collaborate with each other
- “Bandaged” approaches being taken to solve socio-environmental challenges, stemming from rapid urbanisation and lack of urban planning
- Everyone is contributing to and surrounded by socio-environmental challenges but neither the citizens nor the government are taking ownership of addressing these challenges
- Knowledge dissemination for greater awareness and product/service reach is a common impact goal
- Initiatives understand the need for everyone to access their product/service but depend on the middle class for reasons such as access to information, networks and finance
- This sector is heavy on service initiatives
- Initiatives focus on communities of end-users for service/product culture building and concentrated outreach
- Long time period required to realise impact and consistent tracking required throughout
- Monitoring outweighs evaluation, with few practicing either formally
- Outreach numbers, rather than socio-environmental change, are used to depict impact, partly due to challenge of qualitative impact analysis
- Technology is being used to streamline monitoring practices within initiatives
- Initiatives depend on government for reach, policy, permissions and land
- Initiatives depend on end-user behavioural change
- Contextualised communication and training, such as in local language, is required for effective implementation of service/product
- Only one of the entrepreneurs interviewed is from an environmental sciences specialty
- Need for interdisciplinary skills and prevalence of small teams leads to skill gaps and dependence on external experts
- Scale as a goal may not be viable simultaneously with self-sustainability as a goal
- Corporate Social Responsibility rarely mentioned despite social aspect of this sector