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Webinar with the title "Let's HALT and learn SALT" was organized on 29th October 2021 under the aegis of the Department of Development Communication and Extension, "Lady Irwin College", the University of Delhi in collaboration with Constellation, Evaluation Community of India, Global Fund for Children", "Asia-Pacific Evaluation Association" with a goal of co-creating knowledge on SALT: Participatory tool for evaluation with over 45 energetic participants. SALT stands for Share/Stimulate, Appreciate, Listen/Learn/ Link, and Transfer/ Teamwork.

The virtual model of education has been tough for the students to experience on-field activities but Rituu B. Nanda, community and evaluation facilitator created virtual learning more experiential. The entire webinar nestled on the pillar of participation from planning to implementation. I remember, our first interaction with Rituu was worthwhile. She didn't make us feel like an out-comer, she cushioned us with her talks and experiences. She delightfully assigned the responsibility to one of my classmates and me to suggest a title to the webinar and happily titled it with our suggested name

 The webinar commenced with the step of knowing the participants’ choices and perception of participants about things around them like college, its building, favourite spots to enjoy, etc. The agenda of the webinar was to apprise students about SALT as a technique, but the impressive part was we conducted the method on ourselves to comprehend it. What we name in our development fields; learning by doing. The webinar underlined the certainty that all of us are comprised of unique potentials or strengths which makes us distinct from one another, not all can do everything but together we can. Understanding one's innate strength makes one hopeful and drives towards achieving the goals. Every step of SALT tries to cultivate seeds of ownership and trust. This makes the human realize that he/she possesses capabilities to unravel issues around and start taking initiatives for it, which further stimulates them to strive for the set targets and become self-reliant.

With the assistance of case studies, Rituu expressed how complex problems can be brought into notice using a simple technique of SALT. It's not only exclusive to the field of evaluations but can be connected with various backgrounds. The SALT encourages people's strengths by appreciating them through positive reinforcement. It's important to keep the house in the process of learn-unlearn-relearn for a favourable transformation.

Field functionaries from two NGOs, Rural Aid and Avani were also a significant part of the webinar. They shared their lived experiences of using the SALT approach and shared success stories from fields which made our learnings more momentous. The objectives, challenges, stakeholder analysis shared were the core ingredients to our concepts which connected dots with practicality. At the end of the webinar, an evaluation was also done to express the strengths and weaknesses of the webinar and the scope of improvements for the future. The evaluation activity was executed by the field functionaries, every participant in the webinar felt acknowledged and respected because of the participatory approach.

In a nutshell, the webinar on SALT left us with the understanding that anything can be succeeded by acknowledging the strengths and working out as a team. One upshot that I'll surely try to inculcate in my day-to-day life is to be compassionate and listen to others and make them recognize their inner potential and show them the beam of hope within them. Several events leave you with lifelong footprints of understanding that how simple things make difference in the lives of people.


Palak Khanna

M.Sc. Development Communication and Extension, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi

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