ETC at Ananda Kanan on Project Management

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The Project Management Seminar held on July 8 – 10, 2018 at Ananda Kanan was a success with the participation of 20 acaryas and margi of New York Sector. Dada Unmantrananda led the seminar in a professional fashion and allowed all the participants to gain a better insight into the Project Management phases of development.

The seminar has been intense and satisfying as the contents to be assimilated in the span of the three days included several planning tools which revealed to be very helpful in all the planning phases concerning a project.

Four projects were outlined:

  1. The Yoga Ashram
  2. Women Center Project 
  3. Digital Pracar
  4. Unity Project

and the four teams worked on each designated project finalizing the all the project phases: Assessment, Planning, Implementation and Review.

ETC – Educational Training Camp resulted in a wonderful opportunity to work together among margi and acaryas learning to understand at a deeper level the potentiality of teamwork.

Here is how one of the Project Leaders describes the process of project development through the tools made available:

“As part of the Project Cycle Management seminar, we split into teams of 4-6 people, based on the popularity of topics chosen by proposed team leaders. It was the caucus method, and worked well.”

“The tools we used included a global SWOT analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. We identified eight of the local primary causes and sub-causes of the problem which included various sentiments, financial and power issues. Then we identified seven ill effects of the problem. We also recognized some aspects of the problem that people may have considered to be positive. Our next step was to create a plan to minimize the negative causes and effects and strengthen the positive factors. The action plans included:

1.     Incorporating more young people into positions of responsibility

2.     Collective Kirtan parties and Dharmacakras and retreats

3.     Increased communication with Sectorial and Office Secretaries

4.     Encouraging Revolutionary Marriages

5.     Seeking to understand people in different roles and situations

6.     Seeking to appreciate the non-monetary treasures and potentialities

Using another tool to identify likely funding sources as well as a LogFrame (Logical Framework) analysis, it seemed that we could accomplish items #2 and #3 for about $10,000. We then identified how many donors at various levels of donations between $50 and $1000 would be needed to meet this goal, and also how many people we would need to contact at each level to get that many donors. It all seemed very practical and doable, and we all emerged energized and enthusiastic about making it real. Our thanks go out to Dada Unmantrananada, Dada Abhiramananda, and the totality of assembled Acaryas and Margiis for allowing us to participate in this activity while giving us feedback and queries on the technical aspects of our analyses. It was exciting to be able to take on this project planning with rationality and good will.”