Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society

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Bihar Innovation Forum

Creating an enabling environment for implementing and scaling up innovations for rural livelihood development and service delivery is one of the objectives of the Bihar Rural Livelihood Project. One of the components of the project is also to support innovations by various institutions, entrepreneurs, NGOs, etc. whose main objective is to improve rural livelihoods.

The main objective of the Bihar Innovations Forum is primarily to showcase and support various innovations that show potential in Bihar for scaling up. It is also envisaged that this forum would be working on the lines of a development market place.

In order to create information and communication technology (ICT) knowledge network for rural livelihood initiates the need for knowledge network centers at the village level which is quintessential in the present days. A database on innovations is required at the state level. As we aware that our state has many individuals, institutions, entrepreneurs, NGOs, etc. are involved intensively in sustainable livelihood and its enhancement by innovating and practicing best practices through grassroots innovations, which are location specific existing in different pockets of Bihar, however the collection and compilation of the same information is abysmal. These kinds of innovations exist in ample outside the state also, which can be suitable to Bihar. These knowledge network centers have to be installed at the village level in order to facilitate the rural community to take up various livelihood enhancement activities. However, the documentation of these innovations is limited to particular individual or institution or community. These knowledge network centers will prevent the middlemen exploitation and cater maximum benefit to the primary producers. The rationale behind the creation of Bihar Innovation Forum is scouting of the innovations, acknowledging the individuals or institutions for their best practices, recognizing their efforts in innovating and practicing these best methods and practices and also scaling up of the best practices in the selected districts under the Bihar Rural Livelihood Project. Secondly, many individuals and institutions want to invest on these practices either for their study or for the augmentation of these practices or innovations. The unavailability of such information at the apex level prevents many investment opportunities in the state to flourish.

The Bihar Innovation Forum shall initiate a mega event, which comprises a fair cum presentation / seminar of best practices for 2 days in the first week of December 2006. In this event, the selected innovators of best practices are invited to participate and present their innovations through their primary producers or beneficiaries. A team of five people (head of the institution and 4 nos. of primary producers / beneficiaries) shall be invited for the event. In the fair, the primary producers / beneficiaries present the replica and its protocol of the best practices; where as the head of the institution shall present the best practices under specific thematic areas. For this event, a panel of judges from different field of repute shall be identified for evaluating the best practices presented both in the fair and in the presentation. At least three best practices will be honored under each thematic area. The special dignitaries of high personal from the central and state government shall be invited to honor the innovators of best practices and grace the occasion. This occasion shall be highlighted in the national and international arena in order to attract investments either from the banks, national / international level research / donor institutions, Diaspora, etc. These investments support in scaling up of the best practices of the innovators. In this entire process; the dying culture & heritage will be revived, primary producers should receive his / her share of benefit in economic terms in order to change the knowledge-rich-poor-people to knowledge-rich-not-poor-people.

The Society & its objective

Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society (BRLPS), an independent society under Department of Finance; Government of Bihar, is launching the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project with financial support from the World Bank. It's a five year project, which will be implemented in 6 districts with an objective to improve the rural livelihoods through formation, strengthening and development of community institutions.

Emergence of "Bihar Innovation Forum"

One of the important objectives of the project is to establish a "development market place" for showcasing and up scaling of innovations for livelihoods improvement and better service delivery. Hence, the Bihar Innovation Forum has emerged and planned to be an annual event in the project. "This is a platform to showcase the innovation and up-scale wherever feasible either in the project villages or elsewhere in Bihar". The up-scaling will be undertaken in the below mentioned ways are as follows;

  • Presenting the innovation in the showcasing workshop,

  • Recognizing & awarding the services of the innovators from the Hon'ble Chief Minister before the special dignitaries

  • Organizing the interface between donor agencies & innovators and also support in facilitating leverage finance for the innovations in the form of a bankable proposal either from the society or other agencies.

  • Objectives of Bihar Innovation Forum

    To share, learn and identify innovations by private entrepreneurs, NGOs, Communities and Government departments which can be scaled up to improve livelihoods in the rural areas of Bihar;

    To build partnerships with interested organizations and complement the activities being undertaken in JEEViKA - Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project;

    To facilitate in establishing linkage for the innovators from the donor agencies and financial institutions for possible support.

    Innovation : How we define

    Innovation is the process of translating new ideas, approach, processes, practices, method, technology or technique into tangible societal impacts.

    Innovation should also includes

  • Applicability : Its relevance to context of rural livelihoods. Rural livelihoods should have a broader sense of socio-economic well being that served to fulfill basic human needs of health, education and other basic services.

  • Replicability : It can be demonstrated, up-scaled, adopted and adapted to various rural settings in the state.

  • Scalability : It can be expanded in terms of geographical reach & human coverage for it to have significant value.

  • Impact : It should have long term results and potential impact in terms of social, economic & environmental benefits derived by the communities and / or individuals. It should positive impact on socio-cultural and institutional ramification.

  • Sustainability : It should have long term potential i.e., whether the innovation or its benefits from it likely to sustain in absence of external support or additional resources.

  • Outreach : The outcome or the impact can reach the numbers of direct / indirect beneficiaries / groups / communities in terms of social and economic categories.

  • Bihar Innovation Forum at a Glance

    In the absence of any baseline information on innovations in the state, the Society had published advertisement in the local newspaper to receive potential proposals as innovations. In order to make the search engine effective, services of an expert agency; Natural Resources Management Consultants India Private Limited (NRMC) was hired to scout by discussing with individuals, organizations and institutions and also using snowball technique, facilitate in documenting innovations, compiling all the potential proposals received through advertisement as well as scouting. The screening was done in two stages in order to ease in identifying better proposals as innovations. The first stage of screening was based on the requirement of the newspaper advertisement such as concept note, registration requirement in case of institution, relevant photographs in case of individuals / institutions / organizations, uniqueness in the implemented ideas / project, scale, impact etc. Requests were made for furnishing additional information of the first round short-listed innovations, if information inadequacy prevails in the first instance. The second stage of screening was based on the indicators such as Applicability, Replicability, Scalability, Impact and Sustainability. Further the sub-indicators of the above mentioned indicators, verifiers and means of verification were defined and field validation was undertaken. Finally, 25 nos. of proposals were found to be potential as innovations. A rating tool was developed with support of the National level expert from the field of Development and Innovation. A panel of National and International level experts was invited to evaluate the 25 innovations based on the rating tool.

    Way Forward

    This is a two days event, where the Deputy Chief Minister will inaugurate the Bihar Innovation Forum and during the event, the services of the innovators will be recognized and awarded by the Hon'ble Chief Minister before the special dignitaries invited from across the country. It is also expected that, many innovators find their potential resource agency for up-scaling of the innovations. After the event, these innovations will have full media coverage through newspaper, TV channels and websites for the community at large.