ISDM's Response to Covid-19

Message from the Director

The novel coronavirus pandemic has driven us all to take on newer strategies, tools and solutions that we hadn’t anticipated ever before. During this time of crisis and uncertainty, ISDM continues to be guided by its core values of equity, compassion, justice and courage. All the measures that the institution has taken during this phase lean on these values.

The Post Graduate Programme in Development Leadership (PGP DL) has quickly and efficiently adapted to the present situation and has been able to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all students of the cohort. This year, as part of their Residency (Sector Internship), 77 students from the Class of 2019-20 went to 33 organisations across the country when Covid19 struck and was followed by the announcement for the country-wide lockdown. ISDM acted upon this adverse situation quickly. With a hands-on approach, we worked towards ensuring the safety of all students by making sure that they either reached home or were at safe places in their residency locations. Extensive conversations with all the students and their respective organisations led to rearranging of their projects. Several students were also given new projects to ensure that their learning is not compromised. While students did their projects remotely, they would come together on a weekly basis to interact with their peers and the bricoleurs (learning mentors) in a virtual classroom setting.

Within a short period of time, the academic team, in consultation with leading academic minds, has been able to make sure that Term 8 of PGP DL, which commenced on the 27th of April, is being delivered through online and virtual classes and assignments. Our team has kept in mind the learning needs of each student and has structured time for interactions within peer groups, with their bricoleurs and with the faculty members throughout the term. Our counsellor continues to interact with students using different technology to take care of the mental health and well-being of students in a period marked by anxiety.

We have also been working relentlessly towards structuring the PGP DL programme in ways that are safest and most relevant for the students of the next cohort, 2020-21. Whilst making efforts to draw a balance between delivering the programme through a mixed media of online and physical sessions, we have continued to reach out, interview and counsel prospective students who wish to take this journey with us and emerge as successful leaders and managers in the development space. We encourage those who wish to know more about the programme to reach out to the admissions team here.  

In keeping with our values of compassion and justice, the ISDM team has begun work to successfully place all students of the cohort that wish to begin working with Social Purpose Organisations (SPO) a few months earlier. As a team we are aware that the implications of the economic slowdown and lockdown will affect the hiring within the sector, and so the placement team has been delving deeper to reach out to, identify and ensure participation of SPOs across various domains. We are committed and hopeful of achieving a 100% placement rate as we have been able to do for earlier batches of the programme.

 All teams at ISDM including our admissions, research and communications teams have been working from home ceaselessly to ensure that we don’t let COVID 19 affect the achievement of our audacious ambitions. We have emerged a stronger team, a more resilient family and even more compassionate professionals through this crisis. Our work now and in the future will remain undeterred and we will together reach our goal of developing able, professional and value driven Development Managers whose work will impact millions of lives in India and the world. 

We are grateful for the trust of our partners, donors, students, parents and prospective candidates during these trying times. Adversity helps us all become better, stronger and more resolute. And we will look forward to continued work and collaborations with all of you.

 

With wishes for good health and safety,

Ravi Sreedharan