Centre for Social Research, India
I spent my first couple of weeks in the CSR office finding my feet. I have a very detailed work plan, with lots of interesting tasks to sink my teeth into. Other members of staff were quick to come forward and ask me to get involved in other projects too, from editing their work to attending training workshops for the police, campaigns on the streets of Delhi and meetings with the UNDP or local NGOs.
My very first day was a little daunting. I was asked to write a piece for the organisation’s blog about women managers in India with little background knowledge of the people, the culture, the country, the statistics or the work that has been done here at CSR over the past 30 years. It didn’t take me long, however, to realise that the people who work here are both understanding and open-minded. They’ve bravely entrusted me with CSR social media and website content. That makes me want to do a really good job and I’d love to see some positive results from projects I’m working on over the next 5-6 months – not just for me personally, but for CSR as a whole too.
Relations with Partner Organisation
Everything has gone smoothly so far. I feel very welcome in the office and get on with all of the staff. We all sit round a big table and eat lunch together every day at 1.30pm; managers, admin staff and interns included – a welcome cultural difference. It’s a given that you’ll share your lunch with everyone so I now bring, or order, slightly bigger portions so that my colleagues can help themselves!
It’s probably easiest to divide the projects I’m working on into two categories: short-term and long-term.
Short Term – These are tasks that I will be carrying out on a weekly basis. I am currently managing social media at CSR and so each day I update the Facebook page and Twitter account with either a link to an interesting article or report on women in India, a set of CSR photographs, a press release or newsletter, or a link to our blog. I update the blog 2-3 times per week. On Tuesdays / Wednesdays this will be a piece that I’ve written on a research topic of my choice. On Fridays I update the blog with a media roundup of the top 10 stories on women in India from that week. I am writing and editing the majority of blog entries, but am also hoping some of the Indian staff will come up with ideas, opinions and suggestions or posts (if they have the time) for the blog too. This is important because ideally all social media activity at CSR will continue after I leave in December. Social media is not only good publicity for a human rights organisation like CSR, but can also help secure much needed sponsorship and fundraising. Last week I helped write a piece for an international magazine on rape and sexual assault and documented the Right to Education campaign we are running in collaboration with another NGO in Delhi at one of CSR’s four Crisis Intervention Centres.
Long Term – Under the social media umbrella I’ll be working on a few different things such as creating a new Youtube channel for CSR, transferring all videos over from the old one and cataloguing the CSR photo library and uploading all of their photos into new sets and collections on Flickr.
The Media & Communications department is also planning to streamline and update the CSR website. I have a list of different topics to write about which we will use for new content, e.g. rape, human trafficking and pre-natal sex selection. We’re also responsible for the CSR Annual Report and quarterly newsletter, so that’s another thing that I’ll be working on over the next 5 months.
Do send me your news if you get the chance so I can hear all that you’ve been up to.