SeSTA believes sustainability of systems and processes in communities can only come only through empowering the most vulnerable in our society. Therefore, marginalized women are at the forefront of our engagement. SeSTA plays the role of a facilitating agency. Four factors: Time, Effort, Resources and Alliances play crucial roles in triggering sustainable changes.

Operationally the smallest unit of SeSTA’s engagement with the community is at the block/tehsil level, where field teams work directly. Each field team has two to three professionals and this group grooms a cadre of Community Resource Persons (CRPs) who support the work with the community. Typically, in each block, the field teams target to work with about 3000 families. Self Help Groups form the foundation of community mobilization. Producers Groups (PGs) are promoted for intensive livelihoods engagement and to tap into existing opportunities in the market. Each PG has 15-20 members and a village will have about 5-7 PGs. The PGs meet under the umbrella of a village organization. The PGs are then federated into the Farmers Producers Organization (FPOs). 

SeSTA envisions about 6-8 years of work with community in a particular block. In this period, sufficient investment in the capacity of the community and community institutions is done so that beyond this period, these institutions can function on their own; with some external support, if required.

SeSTA’s Typical 6 Year Journey In A Block

Year 1

-Engagement with Community Institutions.
-Grooming of CRPs
- Family Based Livelihoods Planning.
-Initiation of livelihoods intervention

Year 2 to 3

-Promotion of Producers Organization.
- Linkages with mainstream institutions and programs.
-Grants routed through VOs.
-Livelihoods scaleup

Year 4

- Formation of Farmers Producers Organization (FPOs).
-PG members become shareholders of FPO

Year 5 to 6

-FPO Governing Board is skilled to run the institution.
-FPO functions as intermediary for farmers and market for competitive returns.
-All funds routed through FPO

Year 6 to 7

-FPO runs independently with little external support.
-A strong cadre of community leaders lead community institutions.
-SeSTA phases out

Scale Up Plan

SeSTA envisions further strengthening of its operations and scaling up in inaccessible areas, directly or by supporting other agencies, across all NE states by 2025 to reach out to more than 150,000 poor and vulnerable women and as many households. This will mean working with about 2,500 interior villages on the overall development including food security and sustainable incomes through intensive livelihoods engagement, nutrition and health, women’s empowerment and grassroots governance. These women will be collectivized into Community Institutions including 12,000 SHGs, 2500 Village Organizations (VOs) and 44 Producer Organizations, which will work on entire rural value chains. A set of community cadres will also be groomed to provide quality services at the doorstep. Over a period of six years, SeSTA plans to enhance the income of a family by Rs 50000 per annum. Internal organization strengthening and different external partnerships will play a pivotal role to reach this goal. Apart from strengthening field teams, this will also call for streamlining of Executive Traineeship Programme (ETP) so that well trained human resources can be placed at the grassroots.