Hi, I'm Sanjukta! I support NGOs, funders, and other non-profit organisations as a PMEL consultant by:
creating bespoke tools and processes that strengthen your programming and PMEL;
providing ongoing advisory and strategic support to your entire team; and
building your skills and expertise.
My goal is to develop your expertise in PMEL. I also build strong systems that can help you tell stories of change and share your impact. I want to simplify and demystify these ideas and help make PMEL exciting and useful for you and your communities.
I use participatory, decolonised, intersectional, and inclusive approaches in all my work. I purposely focus on 'niche' processes in my work and the way I do business. Read more about my philosophies and approaches here.
The SMC Group is proudly queer, feminist, and anti-racist.
All of this links with my philosophies and the core focus of my boutique consultancy in making PMEL engaging and fun.
My name is pronounced 'Sun-yook-tha'.
(Sun like the sun, 'yook' rhymes with 'book' and 'tha' is soft like 'the').
I am a queer woman from South India and my pronouns are she/her/ella.
I started my PMEL career in 2014, working as a grant-maker at the Open Society Foundations. I specialised in PMEL to help us better understand how we could help our grantees and partners achieve their goals.
I use my skills in grant-making and fundraising to help organisations find the right supporters, apply for funding, and manage their donor relationships. I do this both for funding organisations and those seeking support.
I also have many years of journalism experience - both freelance and in a news agency. I use these storytelling skills to facilitate workshops, training sessions, and skill/expertise-building activities. I also use my experience with qualitative research, quantitative data analysis, facilitating focus groups and conducting interviews in all my work. These experiences helped cultivate my curiosity and keep an open mind.
I bring PMEL ideas from all kinds of industries - from the private sector, the arts, and journalism, to all of my projects to give them a cross-cutting lens. I firmly believe the greatest learning comes when we expand our horizons and look for knowledge outside our familiar circles. Not only the research and storytelling skills from journalism - I bring community organising from activism to help my clients plan more meaningful campaigns.
I love showing how our industry can not only learn from others - such as using design thinking to create exciting projects. We also have so much to share, especially by using data to help make social change.
I grew up in different countries and have worked in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the US. My clients come from all over the world.
My life has been enriched by the different cultures and people I meet. I bring these diverse perspectives, methodologies, and realities to each of my projects. My clients also reflect these values of inclusion, participatory social change, and openness.
Participatory and Inclusive Approaches
I use participatory and inclusive approaches in all of my research and PMEL work. This is not just a tickbox exercise.
Participatory approaches mean that the people I work with, the groups I partner with, and the communities we engage are all central to my research. I involve multiple perspectives, cultural and social norms, and views from different groups of people in my work.
This could mean that when designing a programme evaluation, I first speak with the grassroots organisations, community leaders, and, where possible, the people themselves. Their views are the first step in shaping my methodologies so that my work is relevant to the right people, and designed with and for them at all stages.
As an Indian woman, I bring a decolonised perspective to my work at all times. This means that I actively question the 'Western' biases of research and the power imbalances in the day-to-day activities of carrying out research - for example, people are not subjects to be studied. They are powerful actors of their own change.
Decolonisation seeks to recover the lost identities that colonial powers took away from us by truly empowering communities and our own voices, promoting self-determination and social justice. On a practical level, I prioritise cultural identity and share human stories of communities, bringing the social aspect of social science back to our work.
I am also a proud intersectional feminist; this links to the decolonised perspective that I use. We all have multiple identities that affect the way we see the world, our experiences, and how we interact with other groups.
I look at the different layers that make up my clients' identities, communities, partners, and the societies they are part of as a whole, examining the power structures and social, political, and cultural norms. Most importantly, I use the framework of intersectionality to understand and work to deconstruct the systems that keep one group of people more privileged and powerful than another for no reason.
Who Do I Work With?
I work with individuals and organisations that identify as marginalised - clients, partners, and on my team.
If you are not marginalised but are interested in or are actively challenging systems of oppression, I will also prioritise working with you.
This could include decolonising, becoming anti-racist, intersectional, participatory, or addressing other inequities and structural imbalances. You may be based in a rich country and have your own privileges - as I do - but you are working actively to engage youth activists in poorer countries, for example.
Intention and values matter deeply to me. I cannot support organisations that perpetuate existing power dynamics, are complacent in tackling these issues, or are happy to continue to benefit from their unfair privileges.
My Theory of Change
I'm a big believer in simplifying PMEL as much as possible. If we want our readers to understand and support our work, we need to cut the unnecessary jargon and make it more human and relatable.
This links with my philosophies of making our work participatory and inclusive, and decolonising our sector - including through language. My philosophies are a huge part of my work, so that's why I work exclusively with participatory, decolonised, intersectional, and inclusive approach.
It's also important to share our work in evidence-based, data-driven ways that capture our dynamic contexts.
To someone that may not know anything about our work or why it's important, doing so can demonstrate the links between providing micro-finance loans and gender-equitable education, for example.
I can help you do all of this by:
creating bespoke tools and processes to strengthen your programming,
providing ongoing advisory support to your entire team, and
building your expertise and skills.
How I Can Help You
Find out more about what I could do for you here. If there's something else you'd like support with, I'd love to talk more about your needs. Schedule a no-strings-attached, 30-minute consultation with me!
Ready to discuss your needs, project, or have a specific question? You can easily book a no-strings-attached 30-minute consultation with me here.
Want to talk more via email instead? Contact me here or via email and I'll take it from there!