Catalysing Ecosystems to Resolve Societal Challenges


This is an excerpt of a case study available on Societal Platform.

Societal Platform Thinking posits a reimagining of social change through a systemic approach that brings the government, society and the market together. It is based on the following elements: shared infrastructure; co-creating in context: network of networks; minimalistic design; and empowerment through data. The first layer of a Societal Platform is the technology layer, which operates as an open shared, foundational infrastructure. Digital platforms inherently bring certain capabilities, a way to leverage scarce resources such as the ability to catalyse networks, to connect marketplaces and connect suppliers and buyers. Societal Platform Thinking proposes that the infrastructure operates as an open, public good, one that can be built upon to serve the interests and needs of different players.

EkStep is one such manifestation of the Societal Platform thinking that takes a systemic approach. EkStep’s mission is to improve literacy and numeracy for millions of children in India, by increasing access to learning opportunities. The mission is imagined to be realised through several programmes. Taking the example of DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing), a programme by the Ministry of Human Resources Development and National Council for Teacher Education is one of the several programmes working with this approach. It focuses on the goal of providing an enhanced digital learning experience for teachers and learners.

DIKSHA enables the actions of many different types of actors – government, civil society and private sector to develop and connect various solutions to achieve its goal. It allows curators, teachers, educators, and the government to create solutions for education. The digital infrastructure of DIKSHA allows for such interactions. Sunbird, a set of modular extensible software components abstracted from the EkStep digital infrastructure, is leveraged by DIKSHA in providing the learning management solutions.

The first example of what DIKSHA can do is being demonstrated through the Energised Textbooks initiative that was launched in 2018, aimed at improving access to high quality learning materials. As of November 2018, it’s being rolled out in 24 participating states, each of which is able to adapt the offerings to their contexts. Content has been produced in 15 languages across 29 curriculum boards with 5000 teachers contributing to its creation. The infrastructural backbone is supple enough that new states can come on board and use DIKSHA with ease.

For the full version, please see here