After 6 years of impactful operations in Ahmedabad, director of Elder Care Trust Vijan Trivedi felt the need to expand their services beyond Gujarat. To set up a healthcare centre in the right place, he needed to understand in which areas of the country elderly would need them the most. As he did not have any experience with similar research in the past, he hoped professionals would help him to prepare a research report to identify the right places to set up a new branch according to the needs of the selected area.
As both Aniket and Amit are originally from Ahmedabad, choosing an NGO from the same region helped them to create a better connection and understand the NGO’s background. Aniket has chosen this research project to grow professionally and at the same time, he could contribute to a cause he deeply cares about. Amit felt this could be a great way of using some of his free time to make a change in the society.
With learnings from his first ProEngage project, Aniket took the lead, which Amit as a first-timer appreciated. “We were in great sync, it was so smooth”, he mentions. During the project kickoff meeting between the volunteers and the NGO they discussed the requirements of the NGO in detail, after which the volunteers prepared a roadmap with timelines and milestones that they all followed during the project execution. Both the volunteers went to the NGO site as well to understand the environment and the NGO’s needs even better. Amit explains: “We were communicating in our regional language and that helped us gain trust with each other”.
At the beginning, Vijan collected all the research papers and data from the governmental and nongovernmental institutions he was able to gather to give Aniket and Amit a starting point. The volunteers divided the work and constantly updated each other. Apart from their tight collaboration, the volunteers had regular meetings with Vijan every 2 weeks and asked him to review each of the milestones they reached. Aniket already knew how important continuous communication is, he recalls: “We made sure we were putting everyone in the loop about the status of the project and constantly asking for feedback.”
As a result, Aniket and Amid prepared a PPT summarizing their research results. Vijan was really pleased by the outcome: “We have learned that there are many NGOs helping elderly in Gujarat compared to the other states. Based on the results, we have identified that Udaipur is the place where another healthcare center is needed the most.”
Everyone involved concluded that their collaboration was a smooth ride. The only challenge the volunteers faced was unavailability of specific data for the research.
As Amit describes: “There was some age-ratio data that the NGO needed, and we couldn't find it. But the NGO understood that it was not easy finding the data. He adds: “There were very limited resources to do the research work, but Aniket was very sincere about the project and that gave me confidence to proceed.”
Aniket also mentions that at first the organization wasn’t super clear about the data they needed to collect, so he and Amit had to come up with suggestions. However, through their investigations and instant feedback from Vijan they were able to gain clarity and fulfill the goal the NGO was aiming at.
Vijan praises the volunteers “Despite limited resources, the volunteers got hold of some interesting data that were helpful for the research. We also learned new things. There were no major challenges during the project since there was good coordination between them. Everything was always on track.” Whenever there was a confusion, they all would interact to prevent the project from going in the wrong direction.