In development work, we make assumptions about people we serve and their needs. This project will change the way we understand the values of Kutch artisans who take our education courses, and the impact that our program has had upon them and their community in terms of those values. It will enable us to most appropriately and effectively work with artisans, and serve as a model for more effective assessments and succeeding actions, for us and other development professionals.
Most impact assessments focus on numbers such as increase in income. For traditional artisans, craft is a livelihood, but it is also an essential part of their identity and culture. By December 2019, 197 artisans will have graduated from our design education program. We believe they and their families have benefited, but to insure that the program grows appropriately, we need to have data on the impact we have made in terms of artisans' values.
We will engage a professional cultural economist whose doctoral work was on the values of craft in India to create a culturally appropriate instrument for assessing the impact of design and business education on our Kutch artisan graduates. He will assemble and train a team to gather detailed data, and analyze it so that we can build our program effectively. This value-based approach will endure and serve as a model for future impact assessment work.
The income and standard of living of artisan designers has clearly increased. As a genre of Artisan Designers emerges, children of artisans gain interest and pride in their heritage, and many have returned home to work with their ancestral traditions. Traditions have begun to thrive at a higher end, and more valuable level. Kutch is now noted for the design as well as technical quality of craft traditions. The potential of artisans in Kutch is not calculated but estimated at 50,000.