My work with HSA Foundation: Reflections and Aspirations

24 February 2017 | By Amanda George

In this post, Ross, who leads our international work for the HSA Foundation, reflects on 2016 and what's to come in the year ahead.

In terms of the big picture, what difference would you like to see your area making in 2017?

We’re absolutely thrilled with the work that we’ve been supporting in India, and it has been wonderful to see the growth of the Institute for Person-Centred Approaches in India (IPCAI) over the past 12 months. It’s inspiring to see so many people, through so many different organisations, adopt and embrace person-centred approaches so willingly, and we’re confident that we’ve laid great foundations for our work in the years to come. For 2017, alongside our partners Dimensions, there are three key areas that we would like to focus on, to ensure that our work in India can continue to grow and improve:

1) Impact – we hear so many stories and personal testimonies about how person-centred approaches are improving people’s lives in India, and we want to get better at sharing these stories, so that people can understand the high impact that our work is having, and what this means to our colleagues and friends in India.

2) Sustainability – We’re privileged to have an excellent e-learning platform that allows people in India to learn about person-centred approaches. The e-learning is also a source of income generation to IPCAI, as they sell licences to organisations and individuals across Kerala and then reinvest the profits into the work that they carry out. This element of the partnership is absolutely crucial, as we believe that it provides IPCAI with the opportunity to grow sustainably and responsibly and promote person-centred approaches widely across India. We want to update and improve the e-learning to reflect our learning over the past 12 months, which we believe will result in more e-learning sales and, therefore, more people in India learning about person-centred approaches.

3) Strategy – Although we don’t want to be confined by a restrictive process, we want to add a structure and strategy to our work, to ensure that we are focused and accountable to the work that we carry out. We had a wonderful planning day with our partners at Dimensions last week, and we’re confident that by the start of 2017, we will have a simple yet comprehensive strategy in place, to ensure that we can achieve many more great outcomes next year.


What particular pieces of work do you have coming up that you think will help make an impact on this?

To raise awareness of the impact of our work in India, we will be operationalising our new marketing strategy, and will be increasing our activity across all social media sites. We will also be creating short, quirky videos that will be easily accessible to people who want to learn more about our work. Moreover, the people involved in the buddy project will be encouraged to share their stories and personal experiences of using person-centred practices in their own lives.

In regards to sustainability, together with IPCAI, we will be reviewing the e-learning and making some changes to reflect our learning over the past 12 months. We hope that this will allow us to increase sales in India and generate more income in order to sustain the growth of the organisation over the course of the next year.

To create our strategy, we will be working with our partners, both in India and the UK, to agree on key outputs and set some ambitious targets that will allow us to stay on task over the next 12 months.


Looking back at 2016, what have you been most proud of achieving at work?

2016 has been a wonderful year. Spending three months introducing person-centred approaches to our partners in Uganda and embedding person-centred thinking tools within their processes was a huge achievement and something I’m personally immensely proud of. However, the highlight of 2016 has to be the third national conference of IPCAI in India in November. A team of five from Dimensions joined me this year and we had the most incredible trip.

We visited India as colleagues, and left as friends.


What new year’s resolutions/goals do you have outside work?

With the publication of my new book, I’m hoping to develop relationships with new organisations to promote ethical and responsible approaches to volunteering in developing countries. I’m hoping to work with individuals and organisations to raise awareness about the importance of focusing on community led, person-centred approaches to development and I hope my book will help people to understand why such approaches can benefit people in many different ways.


You can learn more about the HSA Foundation and what they do on their dedicated page.

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