Working with vulnerable populations: lessons from LIFT India

At Seefar, we know how important it is to tailor our interventions to context – particularly when working with highly vulnerable populations. Our LIFT India project, funded by the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, provides survivors of Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) with the skills they need to grasp opportunities and sustainably generate income independently and safely.

Being a highly vulnerable group of participants, it was especially important for us to adapt the three base LIFT components – Adaptive Counselling, Confidence in Action Training, and Skills Training – to ensure that the intervention met the survivor community’s specific needs. This has been crucial in ensuring positive outcomes.

We have done this by:

Taking the time to have our local team re-work each of the base LIFT components in order to:

  • Learn: conduct participatory discussions with beneficiary groups to understand the nuanced differences between the two areas of implementation – Kolkata and Mumbai
  • Translate: ensure that the language we use is simple enough to be understood by our beneficiaries-
  • Expand: break down more complicated concepts and developed hands-on activities such that beneficiaries can better engage with the material
  • Align: include well-researched role model stories that participants can relate to, essential in helping them to see themselves sustaining alternative livelihoods
  • Test: test the curriculum on pilot cohorts and take the time to learn and adapt before scaling

Employing the help of experts in the field, including a psychologist and implementers, to carry out external reviews of our curriculum and to ensure that the approach was trauma-informed
Continually seeking participant feedback through formal and informal community feedback mechanisms

“I find the curriculum encouraging, and am excited about the computer skills training. I feel that I have benefitted from Adaptive Counselling and Confidence in Action trainings. These are helping me to know myself more, and have helped me to identify my strengths.”LIFT India participant

Other benefits of having this “hands on approach” to training:

  • Trainers established ownership of the materials: the most effective trainers are those who create their own materials rather than regurgitate material written by others. Our trainers are more engaged and able to feed insights through continual adaptive management channels. 
  • Flexibility to adapt the curriculum: this has been particularly important by allowing us to respond to the specific ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic impacted CSE populations and our programme. 

“With every passing day, we get a deeper understanding of our participant’s needs. As trainers we try to incorporate that information into the training if there is a need to adapt it”. Madhushree, Adaptive Counsellor 

To learn more about Seefar’s LIFT programme, click here and here

Share on

If you want to learn more, click here

Scroll to Top
We use cookies to allow us to better understand how the site is used. By continuing to use this site, you consent to this policy. Click to learn more