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Hi, I'm Swatee, one of the Expert reviewers. I love the work you're doing and how quickly you are mobilising to ensure people are resettled and integrated as soon as possible. I hope my feedback and thoughts are useful. Good luck!

1. We are interested in ideas for revenues to support the project, beyond grants from foundations. Fee for service is not feasible and asylum seekers are ineligible for federal funding.

I would reach out to the current supporters of your work, funders, government, local communities and try and understand the value of your work to those putting in funding and build ideas from there - could they introduce you to other funders who could support your work, hold fundraisers and raise visibility about your work, could your networks and teams provide support to the Maine government in offering or training government staff in return for payment for these services?

You could also sign up for free courses on fundraising, creating social enterprises or building your business model on sites such Philanthropy University which also have access to funding opportunities: https://philanthropyu.org/

2. To supplement paid staff we may seek volunteer regional coordinators. Do you have best practices around creating, supporting, and maintaining motivation for volunteer leadership positions with significant responsibility?

I think, just like recruiting, training and maintaining staff needs constant review of your HR structures, so too does recruiting, managing and retaining volunteers with Volunteer management. There are some brilliant, free courses you can do on the internet, in your own time, on all aspects of volunteer management, given by Volunteer managers here: https://www.nonprofitready.org/volunteer-engagement-courses

3.There is wide diversity in resettlement towns (socio-economic, size, diversity). How can we get "buy-in" to a single model, without feeling they are losing unique value?

If possible, you can try and look into recruiting volunteers or working with partner organisations from each of the resettlement towns who could work with you to build upon a single model but make the language and the framing appropriate to local context - which the individual or organisation can help with. I think you could also say how the data can be tracked at a meta/higher level that way, providing much deeper learning that the state or federal government could benefit from.

Don’t wed yourself to this approach, it’s likely you might need to make small changes to accommodate with differing contexts which can help the whole programme scale and improve. See all of this as important learning opportunities.

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Swatee commented on Mayan Languages on the Move

Hi, this is Swatee, one of the expert reviewers. I love the work you are doing to support people to live in a respected and dignified way, feel heard and to preserve cultures, traditions and languages. I hope my responses and thoughts are helpful. Good luck!

1.A principal goal is to set up the infrastructure for the Maya Interpreters Collective/Association/Coop in the making. Would it be advisable to have distinct designated accounts in distinct organizations/institutions so we can best make use of the flexibility that larger and smaller entities offer?

I think a model lie yours should still be held under an overaching ‘umbrella’ which can bring more collective voice, visibility and a certain level of value to people who’ve worked with you before and know your work. You could then set up different ‘chapters’ of the work linked to distinct organisations and institutions.

Having all the groups affiliated will provide a greater advocacy voice and put you in a position to raise higher levels of funding that the whole ‘network’ could benefit from.

2.What are some innovative ways to measure effectiveness? Meaning, how do we create a meaningful evaluation and follow-up structure/protocols that are visible and tangible for evaluators and stakeholders?

Go through who you need to convince, what you want them to hear and go from there.

A way of doing this is having more case studies of the people who Mayan Languages on the Move support showing how relatable their stories are to everyone else, e.g. having a desire to learn, to get opportunities, to live healthy and in safety, to be able to eat, to be alongside friends and family, to succeed but that factors beyond their control have stopped that - war, poverty, persecution and now, language.

You can then go onto explain some of the journey’s people went through to get to Ilinois, the relief of getting their and wanting to be part of the communities but what the realities have been, discrimination, ostracised, racism etc. The case studies could then include what being part of Mayan Languages on the Move has meant for them: finding hope, community, solidarity, support, regaining dignity and reigniting hope.

The case studies can be on film, online, in print or social media and be able to reach different audiences. I appreciate this is sensitive information so you can anonymise or change people’s names and not have photographs of people’s faces.

You could also ask the service providers you work with: health centers, education centres, social services or even local businesses who’ve worked with you to talk about how they have been able to do their jobs better through working with you.

3.Suggestions on project management software for keeping the team organized as we scale up?

It depends how big the team and how much you are willing to spend. I think for fairly small and remote teams you can use Google docs and organise folders and spreadsheets as gantt charts and assign roles, deadlines and workplans which are reviewed weekly/regularly to make sure everything is on track.

I also think Slack is a brilliant resource and if you want something more advanced, think about investing in specialist software such as Zoho Projects but make sure the features they have suit the needs of your team.

You could also sign up for free courses on creating social enterprises or building your business model on sites such Philanthropy University which also have access to funding opportunities: https://philanthropyu.org/

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Swatee commented on Supporting the Voices of People on the Move

Hi, I'm Swatee, one of the expert reviewers. I love the work you are doing and hope my comments are useful! Good luck!

1.How can we collaborate with other international organizations to better connect migrants with information, resources, and support? Or What is the best approach to support migrant workers in finding employment?

The good place to start would be from surveying your returnee migrants or those using your services, where they are returning from/going, geographically - is it India, internally in Nepal or to other countries? Do you know which organisations they come into contact with along the route or in country? If so, it would make sense to link to organisations that are reaching out and build alliances with them.

In terms of international networks, many focus on specific issue areas such as trafficking or on children, such as ECPAT: https://www.ecpat.orghttps://www.ecpat.org. You might also want to check out https://refugeesolidaritynetwork.org/ or the International worker solidarity network https://workersolidarity.net/

In terms of supporting them finding employment - as you are working with such a vast group of people in multiple locations you might want to think about using social media- a platform that is accessible and people can use. You can then start message boards, e.g. Opportunities in Darjeeling, India and other people can add the information and details - not just for employment but training and other support as well.

2.How can we partner with larger multilateral organizations, such as the ILO, IOM and the UN, to improve visibility and outcomes?
I always think it’s important to question what impact you hope to achieve with partnering with multilateral and large organisations. They rarely have funding they give to new partners but can provide useful spaces to meet with relevant local partners, and understand how to frame your work for greater visibility or advocacy opportunities.

The best way is to network with any officials you may know in these organisations but if you don’t know anyone, join their mailing lists and follow their pages on social media: facebook, twitter etc, and keep an eye on the events so you can go and meet these groups. You can also post stories about your work on social media and tag them into the post to further your visibility.

YoI would ask yourself, how your work is u can also speak with Freedom Fund which is working to build local collaborations in Nepal: https://freedomfund.org/programs/hotspot-projects/central-nepal-hotspot/

3.How can we ensure the sustainability of these approaches and explore revenue models?

I would reach out to the current supporters of your work, funders, government, local communities and try and understand the value of your work to those putting in funding and build ideas from there - could they introduce you to other funders who could support your work, hold fundraisers and raise visibility about your work, could your networks and teams provide support to the Nepali government in offering or training government staff in return for payment for these services?

You could also sign up for free courses on creating social enterprises or building your business model on sites such Philanthropy University which also have access to funding opportunities: https://philanthropyu.org/