What does Daan do?
Daan therefore is a digital platform that bridges these gaps and hopes to:
Be a platform for capacity/skill building for volunteers while working with organizations and collaborators, enabling them to be leaders of tomorrow
Enable organizations to get skilled hands to complete projects for impact
Set a culture of credibility and transparency as volunteers review organizations and collaborators and vice versa
Be a platform for collaboration between social impact professionals, volunteers and organisations
The Problem we are solving
As a development professional, Daan's initiator Sanjna, relied heavily on volunteers and interns for her work during her stint at NGOs in India. She realized that this space was rife with communication gaps, misunderstandings, and mismanagement especially when a number of volunteers were on-boarded by an NGO. More often than not, there was a disconnect between organizations and volunteers/individuals. Also, smaller collaborative projects in communities could not get noticed or take help from the knowledge available to people beyond their immediate communities but could learn so much from others' experiences as we are all facing similar issues all over the world (poverty, poor social access etc).
Moreover, volunteers' work in any country contributes to work worth millions of dollars (going by multiplying the minimum wages with the number of work done by volunteers annually) that goes unnoticed. This work transcends boundaries of location, organization, class, gender etc. Therefore, at Daanwe decided to tackle the problems faced by all the stakeholders and create a world full of meaningful collaborations and transparency.
The platform also brings together digital kits, ideas, and blogs for knowledge sharing about how can NGOs, collectives, and collaborators start their own mini-projects in their communities to create social change.
How did we arrive at the concept?
After researching about volunteerism and how NGOs and individuals find each other, we came up with this initial prototype. We researched (and are continuing to do so at the University of Sussex, that happens to be world's leading institute in the field of Development Studies ) about volunteering practices in United Kingdom, Germany, and India while interviewing and collaborating with people from all over the world, to arrive at a product that helps people collaborate/volunteer anywhere and everywhere.
Design Research: Participatory Design and Interviews
To arrive at a workable solution via a digital application, I used design thinking strategy.
Using specifically participatory design (by including my ultimate users while I designed and iterated Daan's prototype) and interviews I arrived at the current user experience of Daan.
Where will we go from here?
As of now, Daan is looking for funding and we hope to launch the product at the end of this year. We have our information infrastructure, user experience and business plan ready but are looking for seed funding to help develop the platform.
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