Dialogues on Development Management 2023: A Recap of India's First Conference on Management for Social Change

| 24 June, 2024
Dialogues on Development Management 2023: A Recap of India's First Conference on Management for Social Change
Published: 21 June, 2024

The inaugural Dialogues on Development Management, held in September 2023 at the Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi, marked a significant milestone for the Indian social sector. Co-created by the Indian School of Development Management (ISDM) alongside 13 leading organisations, the event brought together over 800 participants from the diverse realms of State, Market, and Society. Representing more than 425 organisations from 28 States and Union Territories, as well as other countries, this gathering aimed to cultivate an ecosystem where Development Management is central. Together, the sector explored the complexities of building, managing, and expanding impactful initiatives collaboratively.

A Platform for Meaningful Conversations

DoDM '23 was more than just a conference; it was a catalyst for critical dialogue and collaboration. The event provided a unique space for individuals from various backgrounds to converge, engage in meaningful discussions, and explore the nuances of Development Management.

A Recap of India's First Conference on Management for Social Change

The Tracks: Unpacking the Core Facets

The conference was structured around four thematic tracks, each delving deep into key areas of Development Management:

  1. Finance and Philanthropy for Organisational Resilience: This track explored innovative finance models and the evolving landscape of philanthropy, highlighting their critical role in building sustainable social impact organisations.
  2. Talent, Leadership & Governance for the Social Sector: This track centered on crucial issues like governance, succession planning, leveraging diverse talent pools, and scaling organisations while prioritising people.
  3. Data & Evidence for Decision Making: This track discussed the transformative power of data insights, explored career paths in data-driven social work, and analysed the implications of the Digital Personal Data Protection Act 2023.
  4. Masterclass on Development Management: The Masterclasses offered deep dives into essential management topics like strategy for non-profits, systems thinking, design thinking, and behavior change communication.

The Buzz: What were attendees talking about?

The air at DoDM '23 was electric with enriching conversations. Attendees engaged in lively discussions on some of the most pressing issues facing the social sector, including:

  1. Building financial resilience: The need for sustainable funding models and diversifying revenue streams for social impact organisations was a central topic.
  2. Attracting and retaining talent: Participants discussed how to attract and retain the best talent in the social sector, particularly in a competitive job market.
  3. Leveraging data for impact: The role of data in driving effective decision-making, measuring impact, and understanding beneficiaries' needs was extensively debated.
  4. Strengthening governance: The importance of robust governance structures, ethical practices, and transparent decision-making processes was emphasised throughout the conference.

Achieving the Unthinkable: The Success of DoDM '23

DoDM '23 was a resounding success, achieving several key milestones:

  1. Uniting the Sector: The conference brought together a diverse group of stakeholders from government, civil society, the private sector, and academia, fostering a sense of shared purpose.
  2. A Catalyst for Innovation: DoDM '23 served as a platform for sharing new ideas, innovative approaches, and emerging trends in Development Management.
  3. Building Networks: The conference facilitated networking opportunities, connecting individuals from different organisations and fostering collaboration.
  4. Raising Awareness: DoDM '23 significantly raised awareness about the importance of Development Management in the social sector.

DoDM '23: ISDM's Commitment to Enabling a Vibrant Development Management Ecosystem

DoDM '23 was a testament to ISDM's dedication to fostering a robust ecosystem for Development Management. Through this initiative, ISDM demonstrated its commitment to:

  1. Providing a platform for critical dialogue: ISDM created a space for thoughtful discussions on vital issues impacting the social sector, paving the way for collective learning and knowledge exchange.
  2. Curating high-quality content: The conference featured carefully curated tracks and masterclasses led by experts in their fields, ensuring a high level of content relevant to the needs of the sector.
  3. Empowering the sector: By hosting DoDM '23, ISDM demonstrated its belief in the power of the sector to drive positive change, empowering individuals and organisations to achieve greater impact.

Testimonials by Industry Leaders

"Congratulations to the DoDM team. I was really amazed with how, in such a short time, the team brought up an event of such high caliber, convening industrial leaders and people from all walks of life."

CEO, Magic Bus

"DoDM brought together a great ecosystem of different stakeholders. The track themes were well identified. I think the conversations were able to go deep and cover a wide range of issues."

CEO, Quest Alliance

"DoDM was a fantastic experience, collaborating with ISDM and attending the conference. It has been wonderful how ISDM has brought in partners to help curate the different tracks."

Associate Director Training, JPal

"DoDM is one of the places where you meet so many people under one roof, get a chance to listen to them and interact. It’s the first time it’s organised. I am very happy to attend it."

Founder, Desta

"The curiosity that the people have to learn about each other and the discussion. This gives me that there is demand for knowledge around management practices in our sector."

CEO, Make a Difference (MAD)

The Future of DoDM: A Legacy of Change

DoDM '23 has set a positive precedent for future gatherings, creating momentum for ongoing conversations and collaborations. ISDM is dedicated to maintaining the DoDM tradition, hosting annual events that:

  1. Deepen understanding: Future DoDM conferences will explore even more complex aspects of Development Management, facilitating deeper understanding and knowledge sharing.
  2. Foster collaboration: The event will continue to serve as a platform for collaboration and partnership building, enabling organisations to work together towards shared goals.
  3. Drive innovation: DoDM will be a space for showcasing innovative solutions and emerging practices in the social sector.
  4. Empower the sector: Future DoDM events will aim to empower individuals and organisations within the social sector to create greater impact.

The potential of DoDM for the Indian social sector is immense. The event can play a crucial role in:

  1. Building a vibrant Development Management community: By providing a dedicated platform for dialogue and collaboration, DoDM can foster a strong and dynamic community of practitioners, researchers, and thought leaders in Development Management.
  2. Improving the effectiveness of social sector organisations: DoDM can help organisations improve their management practices, enhance their impact, and become more sustainable and resilient.
  3. Driving social change: By fostering innovation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing, DoDM can contribute to driving positive social change in India.

DoDM '23 was a significant milestone in the evolution of the Indian social sector. By prioritising Development Management, the conference laid the foundation for a more effective, innovative, and impactful sector. As DoDM continues to grow and evolve, its impact on the Indian social sector will undoubtedly be felt for years to come.

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