How The/Nudge Incubator is empowering the most promising nonprofits working on India's toughest social problems

  • Financial losses incurred as a result of COVID-19 are twice what they were during the “Great Recession” of 2008.
  • According to International Monetary Fund projections, the global economy will lose$12 trillion, or more, by the end of 2021, in the wake of the pandemic.
  • The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) estimates that extreme poverty across the world has gone up by 7 percent in just a few months because of COVID-19, ending a 20-year streak of progress.

These grim statistics only underline how, in less than a year, the pandemic has wiped out decades of growth and development.

From starting out as a health crisis, the relentless pandemic that has brought innumerable uncertainties in its wake, has wreaked havoc on every aspect of our life: education, jobs, and nutrition being just a few of the casualties. The socio-economic impact across the globe has been of mammoth proportions.

Even as the pandemic is foremost on everybody’s mind, what we really need to do is look beyond all this and see how we can collectively come up with audacious and effective solutions that revive economies, rejuvenate societies, and ensure that those who are in dire need of help – the poor and marginalised members of society – are getting this help in the long term.

Now, more than ever, the development sector needs to step up and come up with path-breaking innovations for the benefit of vulnerable members of society. The pandemic has only added to the magnitude of the problems caused by poverty. The need of the hour is to come up with audacious solutions that can combat these challenges and pave the way for social betterment.

The/ Nudge Foundation has always been involved in this area, by nudging into action people who can make a difference, such as entrepreneurs, leaders and change-makers, to tackle poverty and help the most vulnerable communities across the country. To this end, in 2017 The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation launched an incubator to act as a catalyst, and motivate talented and committed non-profits to solve some of the biggest challenges faced by economically-disadvantaged sections in India.

By supporting early-stage non-profits working on problems related to poverty, through fundraising help, mentoring, and ecosystem connects, The /Nudge Foundation offers a comprehensive platform to showcase products and services for a sustainable and inclusive society.

Here is how some of the incubatees of The /Nudge Centre for Social Innovation are making a difference:

Uplift Mutuals has pioneered a mutual health micro-insurance programme where communities of women run their own health insurance. The mutual micro-insurance model, which is focused on preventive health, has been designed and led exclusively by women, and aims to make healthcare accessible to marginalised families. It works through community governance aided by technology, and has been tested across urban rural and tribal geographies.

Muskaan Dreams works to improve the learning experience of children in government schools by building the digital capacity of teachers to make learning enjoyable and accessible to every child. The non-profit has decided to turn its ‘Digital Sakshar’ app into a learning platform to cater to the curriculum of 16 states in local languages. Additionally, Muskaan Dreams has partnered with Pratham Infotech Foundation to create and deploy educational content for teachers.

Dakshas is a healthcare delivery model for the marginalised population. Dakshas Digital aims to provide non-emergency medical treatment to the underprivileged. It builds primary care for over 90 percent of patients, guided by medical protocols, and taps into its network of healthcare providers for secondary and tertiary healthcare, who provide their unused capacity for these patients at variable cost. During the pandemic the organisation worked with a group of data scientists to come up with a district-level predictive model for demand forecast and supply chain optimisation of PPEs. Additionally, Dakshas also set up COVID 19 screening centres across Food Distribution Units, with pan-India food NGOs like SAFA.

RightWalk Foundation aims at driving equity, inclusion, and social justice by co-shaping social policies and translating them into action. Currently, RightWalk is mapping the immediate needs among vulnerable families across slums in Uttar Pradesh. It runs a helpline to reach out to low-income communities of 300,000 people, and coordinates with the District Administration to ensure distribution of aid that includes rations, grocery, cooked food and medicines. RightWalk is also building a Hindi-based information dissemination platform that will be available on all government portals. Through this platform, it aims to dispel COVID-19 myths and fears, and provide the users with best sanitation and hygiene practices.

Meraki Foundation works in the area of education and literacy. It has successfully launched two initiatives to enable parents to build a responsive learning environment for their children. The ‘Digital Parent Margdarshak Program’ (DPMP), launched across 1,000 schools and 2,000 anganwadis, offers daily academic, life skills and parenting inputs via 1-minute IVR podcasts/videos to parents. DPMP has now evolved into a set of “micro-courses” that leverage simple, practical ideas to address childcare issues, and are delivered to parents via feature-phone based ‘IVR calls’ or as WhatsApp messages on smartphones.

From fundraising advice to connects with renowned mentors, being a part of The/Nudge Incubator gave these non-profits ample opportunities to grow and scale their impact. If you are a non-profit committed to improving the lives of marginalised Indians, and are looking to get into a supportive ecosystem, The/Nudge Incubator is where you should be heading.

Apply today. Hurry. The last date to apply is September 27.


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