Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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New mentoring programme to support ‘Innovation in India’


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Alliance partners in India are to benefit from a new initiative, Innovation in India, launched by social enterprise Pepal, which will pair private-sector professionals with individual staff to work on new community projects.

The aim is to get the best out of the private and non-profit sectors, to share different ideas and perspectives to produce projects that make a tangible difference to some of the poorest communities. The projects will focus on new income generating models and innovative market-driven ways of achieving community goals.  

“With the changing funding environment, more and more we need business model innovation and creativity,” says Dr Sunil Mehra, executive director of Alliance linking organisation, MAMTA, which works in 11 states in India.

“I see it as a win-win-win situation”, explains Julie Saunders, Pepal’s Founder and Executive Director. “The participants from the private sector get to experience something totally different from the usual learning opportunities offered by large corporations. In many cases I expect the journey that they take on this programme to be life-changing.  At the same time, their Alliance partners in India get to learn from the structured approach of the private sector. Most important of all, the projects the partners devise and deliver will bring tangible support to communities affected by HIV in India.”

Everyone who joins the Innovation in India programme will benefit from tailored training delivered by Professor Harry Barkema, Professor of Management at the London School of Economics, a world leader in innovation and management. “To be successful you need to use a variety of strategies to tap the world for great ideas, plus the structures to turn these ideas into reality,” says Professor Barkema.

The training will take place in two modules spaced six months apart and will focus on innovation and partnership. In between the modules private-sector participants will visit their partner organisations, so that once the training is complete they can hit the ground running.

Pepal was originally an Alliance initiative, established to bring business skills into the response to HIV in developing countries. Today, with the support of Fondation Hoffmann, it is an independent non-profit group. Find out more about the Innovation in India programme here

    In many cases I expect the journey that they take on this programme to be life-changing