Generate collective action for positive change by connecting tens of thousands of civil servants, teachers, grassroots entrepreneurs, NGOs and young people. Show more
o develop a culture of innovation within government and within society, a large number of like minds, and sometimes unlike ones too, need to work together. They share insights, solve problems together, gain from the diversity, influence and learn from each other, and are able to form a collective voice for policy change. Moreover, large-scale implementation of any innovation is possible only through such human networks. a2i is truly a nexus of such human networks of civil servants, teachers, grassroots entrepreneurs, NGOs and young people.
The following portray the diversity of the networks a2i has developed and has been nurturing over the years:
Civil Servants: Tens of thousands of civil servants from fresh entrants to senior-most secretaries, field level service delivery persons to the most seasoned policy makers have formed virtual networks on social media. Some of these networks are used for expediting departmental communications that earlier used to take weeks; some others are used for grievance redressal of citizens; yet others are used for shared problem solving. Over 70,000 civil servants up and down the hierarchy across the country worked on building the national portal through a crowdsourcing effort. The network of district and sub-district administrators forms the core body for implementation and monitoring of all of a2i’s digital platforms ranging from Nothi to e-Mobile Court.
Teachers: Over a hundred thousand teachers have come together into the Teachers’ Portal forming what may be considered as the nation’s largest ‘teachers’ union’. This not only has established a mechanism for them to share educational content that they have created, but also has created a platform to give policy voice to primary and high school teachers who are otherwise voiceless. This shared platform has started transforming the way teachers’ training has happened for decades from a top-down pedagogy-specialist-driven format to one that is much more democratic and peer-to-peer.
Grassroots entrepreneurs: Ten thousand strong, the biggest network of grassroots entrepreneurs in the country – delivering both public and private services to millions of underserved citizens every month – is the one that ties all the Digital Centres in the union parishads (rural), municipalities and city
corporations (urban) together. Since 2010, this network has grown gradually stronger and more close-knit resulting in very effective troubleshooting for service delivery, peer learning, sharing of good practices, and formation of an e-Commerce logistics network. Since this network serves as the vital last-mile link for delivery of many services, it has emerged as a reasonably strong policy advocacy forum at the grassroots for consumer rights.
Private sector: Several of a2i’s platforms function as the hub for many NGOs and private sector for-profit organizations. For instance, the Tathyakosh platform, featuring over a hundred thousand pages of livelihood content, has nearly 300 partner organizations half of which are from the private sector. a2i has formed partnerships with all the mobile network operators in the country and a number of banks primarily for financial inclusion.
Research and academia: In the recent years, a2i’s research network has grown to include the major public universities in the country, a few private ones, several international universities in Singapore, Australia and the UK, and non-academic research organizations in the US. This partnership focuses on impact evaluation, behaviour change study, needs analysis for capacity development, co-design of interventions, and evidence generation for policy advocacy.
Media: a2i has developed a remarkable network of print, electronic and social media professionals through training over a thousand professionals around the country on how to report on innovative management techniques and ICTs to improve public service delivery. a2i also formed and manages the Development Journalist Forum comprising of over a hundred development journalists.
Youth: Unleashing the innovation and creativity of the youth to solve the country’s development challenges is a mandate of a2i. Through partnerships with several universities and youth organizations, a2i reaches out to the young people through competitions such as Solve-a-Thons, Innovation Camps, social media campaigns and Innovation Lab+. Through the Service Innovation Fund , a2i opens up funding opportunities to innovators with bright ideas and forms a network of young innovators ready for incubation.