Call for EOIs from NGOs for Implementation of Mein Pragati in Rajasthan

CRISIL Foundation is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of CRISIL Ltd., set up as a public charitable trust in March 2013 to reach out to socially and economically disadvantaged communities within and beyond CRISIL Ltd.’s areas of operations.

Mission – Empowering people to make informed financial choices

Vision – Build awareness and capacities of the financially excluded in India

In doing so, the Foundation offers the following value proposition:

  • Share knowledge and insights backed by data, leveraged by analytical rigour,
    credibility and experience 
  • Shape thoughts, influence policy, set benchmarks to drive strong social impact
  • Leverage multiple platforms to drive experiential learning, and therefore, behavioural change as an outcome

CRISIL Foundation runs two flagship programmes, in addition to running pilots for innovative models in financial services to the poor and providing implementation and/or technical support to regulators and other corporate foundations. The two flagship programmes of the Foundation are:

  • Mein Pragati (Assam and Rajasthan) – CRISIL Foundation’s flagship financial capability building programme empowers disadvantaged communities by strengthening their financial capabilities.
  • CRISIL Re – CRISIL RE, the flagship programme for social impact and outreach in cities, leverages CRISIL’s vibrant workforce as agents of change in Ahmedabad, Chennai, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, and Bengaluru. Used as a prefix, ‘RE’ is a simple but powerful idea that conveys the potential to alter the status quo.

About Mein Pragati in Rajasthan

Mein Pragati in Rajasthan was launched in May 2016 as a replication of the Mein Pragati programme in Assam that had been working in 6 districts of Assam since 2014. The programme was suitably customised to cater to the socio-economic and cultural differences of the two regions, retaining the overall model of financial capability building that was successfully tested over the years in Assam. The programme works with rural women who are part of self-help groups in enhancing their financial capabilities by making the right financial choices and positively influencing a change in their financial behaviour.

Phase I of the programme was implemented from May 2016 to August 2018 in 3 districts of Rajasthan, namely Alwar, Dausa and Sikar. During this phase, a unique and effective lifecycle (LC) approach that was tested in Assam was adopted. Under this approach, each SHG underwent approximately 4 months of intensive financial capability interventions, through multiple touch points and various pedagogy – interactive trainings and workshops, games and exercises, role-plays, case studies and counselling. Towards the end of the LC, each participant underwent financial counselling on their household’s financial status, giving them simple yet actionable insights into the next steps they would need to take in order to enhance their financial well-being. This was done on the basis of household income and expenditure data collected over the LC that the participants maintained in the budget diary that had been provided to them under the programme. This data was captured in the Mein Pragati app developed for the purpose. The app generated a customised and simple summary of the household’s current financial and inclusion status and the broad steps it needed to undertake towards building their financial health. The counselling process was called Financial Health Counselling and the card was called a Financial Heath Card. The programme also made efforts through the LC to link the participants to basic financial services (savings accounts, insurance, formal credit, pension, term deposits etc.) and with government schemes (Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana etc.). At the end of the LC, Social Security Melas were facilitated under the programme to provide a platform for large scale linkages of the participants and the community at large. Phase I in Rajasthan saw an outreach of over 63,000 women.

While Phase I was being implemented in Rajasthan, Mein Pragati in Assam had moved to the implementation of Phase II. Phase II implemented some of the key learnings from Phase I. One of the key objectives of Phase II was to move towards creating a more sustainable impact. A key challenge towards this end was found to be the absence of a last mile cadre that could create awareness about financial services, support and guide the community towards making the right financial choices and behaviour change. With this in mind, Phase II focussed on creating a strong last mile community cadre that would be available at the community level, readily accessible to the community members for support and guidance in charting the right financial journey for themselves. This cadre was called CRISIL Sakhis.

Phase II on the Sakhi model was launched in August 2018. Phase II focusses on 6 blocks (Rajgarh and Ramgarh blocks in Alwar district and Dausa, Lalsot, Lawan and Sikrai blocks in Dausa district) in 2 districts of Alwar and Dausa in Rajasthan through its  There are close to 300 Sakhis under the Mein Pragati programme in Rajasthan. These Sakhis are a voluntary cadre, receiving no monetary compensation from the programme but generate their own revenue by charging the community a nominal service fee for their services. It has been observed that over a period of time, Sakhis are able to generate a steady and reasonable income from their activities. We also observed the willingness of the community to pay this nominal fees, given that this was less than the fees charged by the local agents and/or resulted in saving their time or wage loss.

Regular training and capacity building of the Sakhis is done in Phase II to enhance their capacities and ensure that their incomes are sustained. It ensures that the community gets access to quality and timely services and is guided on the right course of action. In order to further enhance the capacities of the Sakhis, increase their motivation and ensure standardisation of the quality, CRISIL Foundation has introduced an online certification targeted at the community cadre. This is called GramShakti, a certification that can be done by anyone that has a smartphone at their disposal, in their own free time. This certification is a mix of theoretical modules and practical exercises, on completion of which they graduate to becoming the next level community cadre, beyond the Sakhis.

Call for EOIs

CRISIL Foundation is now looking for an implementation partner that will implement Phase II of the Mein Pragati programme in Rajasthan for a period of 2 years. The key objectives of the programme will be as follows:

  • Enhance the financial capabilities and access to formal financial services of the communities in the project locations such that they are able to
    • make informed financial choices and decisions
    • make a positive behaviour change
    • access formal financial services that are relevant and beneficial for them
    • follow safeguards in order to stay away from informal and unreliable financial service providers and not fall prey to financial frauds and scams
    • Build the capacities of the CRISIL Sakhis in order to create a sustainable last mile community cadre so that they are able to provide quality services to the community
    • Scale up the GramShakti certification programme such that larger number of Sakhis and eligible community members in the project locations are motivated to undertake and successfully complete the same

Who can apply

  • Registered as a not for profit entity
  • Atleast 3 years of vintage since registration and has active operations during the last 3 years
  • Annual budget of minimum 5 crores in existing programmes
  • Having a strong presence through its existing projects in the Mein Pragati programme areas is highly desirable. NGOs with presence in nearby blocks/districts but willingness and capacity to expand/initiate programmes in the Mein Pragati project blocks may also apply.
  • Strong implementation experience in Microfinance/Financial Inclusion/Financial Literacy and Awareness is highly desirable. NGOs with implementation experience in one or more of the following areas may also apply – women empowerment, livelihoods, skill development, farmers, SHG and community institutions.
  • Desirable – Past experience on implementing projects in partnership with Corporate Foundations

Last date for submission of EOIs

Interested organisations may submit their EOIs latest by 31st March, 2020. Early submission is advisable.

You may submit the EOI by email to Abhishek Choudhury (abhishek.choudhury@ext-crisil.com) with a copy to Amita Abichandani (amita.abichandani@crisil.com).

You may also feel free to drop an email to any of the above for any queries or clarifications. 

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