The world that we live in today is far from ideal; but does not stop motivated individuals from working towards mitigating societal, economic and environmental challenges. Across the world, various stakeholders such as government organizations, humanitarian organizations, corporates and investors are working towards designing and implementing interventions in the social sector to bring about positive impact. However, riddled with strategic and operational challenges, these stakeholders often require the assistance of adept development consultancies. A trusted ally for the development sector is Sambodhi Research a global development consulting organization.
Founded in 2005, the firm holds expertise in monitoring, evaluation & learning (MLE), data analytics, capacity building, technical assistance, “Through our services, we produce high quality, statistically significant and robust evidence to enable informed decision making in the policy and implementation realm for interventions,” explains Sudhanshu Malhotra, Vice President Business Development, Sambodhi Research. Headquartered in Noida, the firm’s services have so far aided interventions in sectors such as energy access, environment and climate change, agriculture, livelihood, public health & nutrition, wash, skill development, education, financial inclusion and governance.
Countering Operational Challenges
The social development sector often treats measurement and learning as after thoughts. This causes various operational challenges such as inadequate budgeting for measurement and monitoring, unrealistic expectations from the programme outcome/impact and unrealistic expectations from research activities. Sambodhi counters these challenges by engaging early on with stakeholders at the programme design stage and thus creating visibility and awareness on potential MLE and research. Working in the niche area, Sambodhi’s MLE support services include impact evaluations, process evaluations, concurrent monitoring, process monitoring and embedded long term MLE .
Using statistically sound experimental and quasi experimental methods, innovative techniques in data analytics and collecting data itself to ensure quality, the company also carries out large scale multi surveys in both urban and rural settings. To cater to need of handling composite data that is rapidly transitioning from numerical to complex-textual and audio-visual. Sambodhi is also heavily invested in mastering and applying evaluative methods based on qualitative inquiry The company also holds expertise in research and data analysis which includes data analytics support by applying big data as well as lean data principles to the development context. With its data services extending from descriptive to predictive and prescriptive analytics, Sambodhi has built strong proficiency in rendering research support for cross sectional studies and assessments. Formative research and other activities falling under the gamut of social research. “We see ourselves as research service provider bridging the gap between traditional and main stream consulting, and this positions us very uniquely in the development consulting space,” adds Sudhanshu.
Building Capacities in Social Sector
The social development sector is constantly evolving. Equipped with the right expertise, Sambodhi also works towards supporting and updating the capacities of its developmental partners through its capacity building and training services. The company’s trainings focus on areas such as research design, data analytics. MLE techniques, results based frameworks, statistical software and proposal writing, amongst others. The firm undertakes class room and customized training in the field of MLE and has so far trained over 8000 senior mid career professionals.
Over the years, Sambodhi has succeeded in harbouring trust in the social development sector and has worked with prestigious clients such as the Government of India, various State Governments, the World Bank Group, various UN Organizations, Academia such as Duke University and LSHTM, and foundations such as the the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation, amongst others. Although headquartered in India, the company has offices in Cambodia and Tanzania. “Apart from South Asia, we are actively pursuing international growth in the Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia regions,” adds Sudhanshu. Engaged in work which has an impact on the lives of the poor and the marginalized, Sambodhi certainly has its heart in the right place.