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Co-design Sessions with SEWA

- Namya will ask the beauty coop women to find out if Oct 29 week works, this would work well for Michelle and Dana

- Nov 12 might still be a problem because of Diwali?

- Nov 19 week better than 12th


- take the logo off of the SEWA foundation website (don’t have a digital file at this time)


- $100/year to host SEWA - this is prohibitive

- static site - can use Amazon hosting

- is there something non-profit friendly?

- GitHub pages, but terms of service might not allow for-profit services

- this would be the easiest solution, Namya will take a look at the terms to see if it works

Content for the Site

- don’t have a brochure yet - should have something next week

- website will be a part of the governance platform

- Namya to send some content/information to us for the site

SEWA vs Foundation?

- SEWA is the trade union - the umbrella - what people mean when the say “just SEWA”

- in the process of overhauling the SEWA site to reflect more that it is the umbrella, but for now it’s more focused on the trade union

- the union is 1.5 million women in 15 states of India

- union is the “mother” - communicate to workers that it is important to be organized - so make them members of the union

- SEWA federation is made up of 300,000 members in co-ops - all in Gujarat

- everyone we serve is a member of the SEWA union

- want to provide all services to all members of SEWA - hard to do in practice

- project for the federation - governance - is not for the union

- union does mostly advocacy - policy research, the joint action of struggle and development - this is a slow process, talking to employers etc

- federation/coops work on development - more immediate - what can we do for workers right now?

- for example: training, streamlining production, marketing, better business processes

- technology - federation in charge of tech for all coops? Or individually?

- easier to manage for all

- all coops cannot afford to have the tech

- shared resources would be better

- portals for each coop into the tech, managed centrally, would be ideal

- subdomain of the federation


- main SEWA site is being redone now

- want to redo the federation site too - with us

- beauty cooperative - have a link to main federation website

- want the app to be scalable to multiple services as well

- urban services in India are broken, exploitative of workers e.g. domestic workers 

- domain - beauty services only? other services might not need to be consumer-focused, some will be, e.g. agriculture coops, don’t need own url, can be under the federation, it will depend

Co-Design Session Planning

We will have 2, 2-day workshops

Beauty coop workers

- 1st day brainstorm

- 2nd day more concrete - mapping of content - provide examples but also keep open to ideas

- gathering stories - we have budget for this to compensate

- they have a video cooperative - plan to make short videos 

- workers are at the registration point, haven’t started doing home services yet (some will have experience with home services, some not)

- record them doing their work? Those with experience and those without In Gujarat, need someone to translate - $$

- in the meantime do some interviews? IDRC can provide some questions, run them by Namya


  • need to understand more about the Federation
  • how the coops interact with each other, with the federation etc, where we should focus


- business development, business planning - grassroots women, no formal business training

- some have low literacy, some education, not college necessarily, 8th grade, especially the boards

1. How to price things, read balance sheets, make business plans, scaling up, 

2. Training - connecting them to institutes, in-house trainings as well

3. Marketing - how do we link them to the end consumer or to other partners

4. Policy, advocacy, helping them understand what policies are coming in e.g. new taxation law recently - no one understood them, tax consultants weren’t informed etc

- Central federation - pull the content together - e.g. get an expert to do a talk, do an article etc

- Remote rural areas - they don’t get the information - how do we disseminate it to them?

- Consider potential collaborations e.g. vegetable farmers and catering coops - connect them

- there are 6 types of coops - dairy, agriculture, savings/credit, artisans, other goods, services

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