Watch the video to know more about how to use the tool


  • Understand the indicators used in the tool
  • Data and information for your village/target geography must be ready against each of the indicators
  • Secondary data for indicators can be found from sources listed in the indicator sheet
  • Indicator values can also be filled using primary data from scoping / baseline studies



  • The tool attempts to provide a data-driven approach to understand rural communities, their needs and identify potential solutions, including delivery models, that could fulfill that demand. Thus, creating a win-win solution for both communities, as well as solution providers.

  • Cross-cutting indicators have been chosen based on their overall impact on a village’s economic standing or potential. For example, income-proxy data like housing type (kuccha vs pucca house) is an excellent indicator of the economic wealth of the village. In comparison, household income level is not only expensive to gather, but also is unreliable due to people’s apprehensions about sharing their incomes.

    Similarly, road type is an important factor which has direct effect on the economic wealth of a village – proximity to a state highway can have an exponential impact on the ability of a village to access markets, compared to a village connected by a kuccha road, which is inaccessible for 3-4 months of the year due to weather conditions.

  • The tool aims to classify the target geography into four stages of development.
    However, the local context would need to be factored in, in order to derive the
    right conclusion.

  • In our work, we found that access to energy and finance are key enablers to support development in other sectors. For example, access to energy goes beyond household level needs, like lighting, cooking, among others. It can power income generating activities for micro-enterprises (ie lighting for shops), motorised applications for agriculture and power for health centres, schools, training institutes and other such establishments. Similarly, access to affordable finance can be used to purchase productive income-generating assets (eg, a processing mill), as well as, purchase crop insurance, health insurance, among

  • The data for the different development indicators can be sourced either from secondary sources (government data sources like Antyodaya dashboard, census, among others) and/or from primary sources (ie field visit, local non-profit partner, and other such sources). You can click on this link to download the datasheet, which has all the data sources listed against each of the indicators, as well as space to fill in the data values, for offline data collection.

  • The solutions listed in the SOD framework are representative and definitely not exhaustive. You can try to correlate the solutions that are needed in your target geography to identify the stage of development of the village, and calibrate your
    solution by comparing it with the solutions recommended to see if this would be a fit for that target geography.

  • Any organisation or enterprise working on rural development in India is considered as a stakeholder, this includes a social enterprise, non-profit, or a rural entrepreneur working in any of the eight sectors – energy, financial services, agriculture & livelihoods, water & sanitation, healthcare & nutrition, education & coaching, communications & digital connectivity, or goods & people movement (transportation). It also includes impact investors, donors, or philanthropist funders, as well as a government agencies, at the national level, state level, district level or even at the village level (ie gram panchayat). The rural communities are considered as end consumers.

  • The solutions listed in the solution mapping have been developed as a guiding reference, to guide those using the tool, and are in no way meant to be an exhaustive or absolute list. This framework aims to classify a village or target geography into one of four stages of development, and then suggest the most suitable solution based on the village’s developmental stage.

  • Rural entrepreneurs can use the tool to identify relevant solution/delivery models for their respective locality. Based on the findings, they may approach solution providers to collaborate and help deliver suitable solutions in their respective areas.

  • Depending on the sectors you are working on in the target geography you are present in, collaborating with solution providers in other sectors can lead to a positive virtuous cycle for the village, where increasing income levels mean that the community can afford more or advanced solutions and services.

    By bringing together stakeholders from across the spectrum – NGOs, solution providers, donors, philanthropists, rural entrepreneurs, government agencies, corporates and any other stakeholders working on rural development, this tool can help to leverage synergies across sectors, thus lowering the cost of implementation and reducing the overall risk, and hence, increasing the likelihood of success, as well as deeper and visible impact on the ground.

  • Absolutely! We would love to hear from you. We would be delighted to hear about your experience and feedback on what worked, and where the tool could be improved. Contact us here

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