About INgene blog : First ever Indian Youth trend Insights blog

About INgene : First ever Indian Youth trend Insights blog:
This blog explores the detailed characteristics of Young-India and explains the finer & crucial differences they have with their global peers. The blog also establishes the theory of “adopted differentiation” (Copyright Kaustav SG,2007) and how the Indian & Inglodian youth are using this as a tool to differentiate themselves from the “aam aadmi” (mass population of India) to establish their new found identity.

The term youth refers to persons who are no longer children and not yet adults. Used colloquially, however the term generally refers to a broader, more ambiguous field of reference- from the physically adolescent to those in their late twenties.
Though superficially the youth all over the world exhibits similar [degree of] attitude, [traits of] interests & [deliverance of] opinion but a detailed observation reveals the finer differential characteristics which are crucial and often ignored while targeting this group as a valued consumer base. India is one of the youngest countries in the world with 60% of its population less then 24 years of age and is charted as the most prospective destination for the retail investment in the A. T. Kearney’s Global Retail Opportunity Report, 2007. With the first ever non-socialistic generation’s thriving aspiration & new found money power combined with steadily growing GDP, bubbling IT industry and increasing list of confident young entrepreneurs, the scenario appears very lucrative for the global and local retailers to target the “Youngisthan” (young-India). But, the secret remains in the understanding of the finer AIOs of this generation. The Indian youth segment roughly estimates close to 250million (between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five) and can be broadly divided (socio-psychologically) into three categories: the Bharatiyas, the Indians & the Inglodians (copyright Kaustav SG 2008). The Bharatiyas estimating 67% of the young population lives in the rural (R1, R2 to R4 SEC) areas with least influence of globalization, high traditional values. They are least economically privileged, most family oriented Bollywood influenced generation. The Indians constitute 31.5% (A, B,C, D & E SEC) and have moderate global influence. They are well aware of the global trends but rooted to the Indian family values, customs and ethos. The Inglodians are basically the creamy layers (A1,A SEC) and marginal (1.5% or roughly three million) in number though they are strongly growing (70% growth rate). Inglodians are affluent and consume most of the trendy & luxury items. They are internet savvy & the believers of global-village (a place where there is no difference between east & west, developing & developed countries etc.), highly influenced by the western music, food, fashion & culture yet Indian at heart.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

social swarming: transparency matters!

Transparent Chennai, a group of enthusiastic youth in Chennai aggregates, creates and disseminates data and research about important civic issues facing Chennai, including those issues facing the poor. Their work aims to empower residents by providing them useful, easy-to-understand information that can better highlight citizen needs, shed light on government performance, and improve their lives in the city, one issue at a time. Our goal is to enable residents, especially the poor, to have a greater voice in planning and city governance.

They actually creates maps and data to understand issues facing city residents. Transparent Chennai believes that a lack of data has sometimes allowed for government to evade its responsibilities to provide basic entitlements to all city residents, and to exercise force with impunity over informal settlements and workers.They work closely with individuals and citizens’ groups to create data that can help them counter inaccurate or incomplete government data, and make better claims on the government for their rights and entitlements.
Some of their data is available in the form of interactive maps, which can be layered on top of one another to contextualize information. Mapping can provide useful information to citizens, identify gaps in government data, create insights into policymaking, help create more accountability for elected representatives and bureaucracies, and help residents to “think spatially” at a time of rapid urbanization.

TC team members also conduct in-depth research into select issues of importance in the city. We have conducted research into urban governance, electoral accountability, participatory planning processes, pedestrian issues, slums, sanitation, and solid waste management, details about all of which can be found on the site.

Transparent Chennai started the Ward Accountability Experiment, where they are using citizen efforts to create data about issues in urban services at the ward level, data that could potentially be used to hold elected representatives accountable for making improvements.

At the MP and MLA level, individual legislators are rarely associated with particular bills, and voting happens almost exclusively along party lines. As a result, when most organizations collect information about the performance of elected representatives, they look at other pieces of available information: their attendance in the legislative council or assembly, the number and kinds of questions they asked while they were there, and their spending from their local development funds. Ward councilors are slightly different: in Chennai, they propose resolutions usually related to issues affecting their constituency that are then approved by the Council and implemented. “However, we realized that simply collecting information about resolutions, questions, and attendance, did not tell us the entire story about a ward councilor’s performance. We were also interested in outcomes – how did the ward actually fare under their leadership with respect to urban services?” the team told.

This is a hard question to answer because of the paucity and inconsistency of data available to connect a legislator’s performance with outcomes at the constituency level- especially those of the city and the ward (High Powered Expert Committee 2011, 45). Official statistics on most aspects of city life, such as access to sanitation, extent and quality of sidewalks, slums, and public health are incomplete, and almost never disaggregated to the ward level. Even when data is present, it is often skewed as it fails to record (or even acknowledge) the deficiency in urban services to many of the city’s residents because they are seen to exist in the realm of the ‘informal’; like residents in a slum.

This is why Transparent Chennai started the Ward Accountability Experiment, where they are using citizen efforts to create data about issues in urban services at the ward level, data that could potentially be used to hold elected representatives accountable for making improvements. they began their efforts in a single ward. Each Saturday, nearly a hundred volunteers from civil society groups and colleges throughout the city walked around the streets of ward 176 (formerly ward 152 and parts of 151) in the southern part of the city, to capture data about three kinds of outcomes: public sanitation, garbage collection, walkability. they used paper maps and pencils to mark locations of piles of garbage and measured their size, and marked the locations of dustbins and whether they were usable. We found public bathrooms, and recorded their conditions. TC also evaluated the road’s walkability, marking locations of broken sidewalks and problems with crossing the street. they also took photographs and videos, and filled out quick surveys to supplement the information in the map. During the survey, also tested a mobile-app built for them by a local company to see whether GPS readings from it were accurate enough for wider use as a tool for documenting civic issues.

The volunteer team worked with Transparent Chennai to digitize the data, converting it from paper to spreadsheets and digital maps that could be analyzed.
The experiment yielded strong data that underscored some of their suspicions about local conditions. 40 of 111 (36%) dustbins on 87 roads that CT covered were unusable, and piles of garbage were most prevalent in the poorest parts of the ward. Only 2 of 11 public toilets met basic standards for usability (they had water, lights, and did not have any blockages). And only three out of the twenty roads that they surveyed scored well on walkability, while the rest required improvements!
At the end of the process, they have held a public meeting where we invited all the candidates for ward councilor, as well as residents from the ward. TC shared the data and analysis with attendees, and invited councilor candidates to share with us their plans for the ward. Candidates came from four political parties, the BJP, AIADMK, Congress and the DMK (although the last candidate came far too late to contribute to the meeting). All of them promised to take action based on the information, but both residents and press covering the event expressed skepticism about their ability and willingness to follow through on their promises.

For the mapping, we used low-tech paper maps, so anyone can use these tools, not just those who have access to smart phones and are familiar with the Internet. We believe that this is a crucial element to making these tools inclusive. Using our experiences from the Experiment, we will be refining the methodologies, and making them available in the form of Toolkits in both English and Tamil on our website. Our hope is that we will be able to assist volunteers from many other wards carry out similar exercises locally.

The Transparent Chennai team was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the volunteers, who came week after week to map local conditions and to digitize data.
“But what we are most excited about is the promise behind the experiment – that citizens can actually come together and create the data they need for greater accountability of elected representatives” the team states.

Reference: http://www.accountabilityindia.in/accountabilityblog/2340-mapping-local-accountability
High Powered Expert committee 2011, Report on Indian Infrastructure and Services, High Powered expert Committee.

Roy, A 2009, ‘Why India cannot plan its cities: informality, insurgence and the idiom of urbanization’,Planning Theory, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 76-87.

1 comment:

Sapna Anu B.George said...

Good to see your blog and read you in detail