Dr. Ravi Jayakaran
by Dr. Ravi Jayakaran and Dr. Paul VanValin on May 31st, 2014

​​The Happiness index tool was developed by Dr Jayakaran and Dr VanValin to measure happiness. It is carried out using the Ten Seed Technique and assessing the 5 important aspects of Happiness, namely:

1.Positive emotion: Happiness and life satisfaction define this well-being component. Descriptions of positive emotions include words such as feeling good, happy, joyous, blessed, satisfied, excited, content, calm and peaceful, etc. These emotions are often contextually dependent.  One day things are going well and a person feels “happy”, but then a loss is experienced and the person feels “sad.” Some people need significant interventions such as medication and psychotherapy in order to have the biological capacity to experience positive emotions.
2.Engagement:  Engagement is the experience of being totally focused on one thing.  It is about “flow.” The more engaged we are, the less we attend to things around us, and the easier it is to lose ourselves in what we are doing. We are single minded, the opposite of multitasking where our attention is quickly moving from one thing to another.  Multitasking is quite stressful, while engagement is calming.
​3.Relationships:  Being with people you love is the greatest buffer against the negative effects of chronic or critical stress.  Also, helping other people is the fastest way to feel better in almost any situation. Simply being around people is insufficient.  One can feel very lonely in a crowded room.  This element requires reciprocal relationships. The more truly intimate relationships one has, the more secure one is in general, and happier overall.

 
​4.Meaning and purpose:  Meaning is defined by Dr. Seligman as “belonging to and serving something that you believe is bigger than the self.”  (Flourish, 2011, p. 17). Victor Frankl, in Man’s Search for Meaning, described how people in Nazi concentration camps would either lose their sense of identity and humanity in such horrific conditions, or sustain themselves by helping others.

5.Accomplishment:  Accomplishment refers to completing or making progress in something of value. This component is high for people who feel that they are achieving goals, making progress and expect future accomplishments.  Accomplishments may be recognized by others or be very private. People often struggle with achievement as they age, or lose capacity to do something they value.
​The final index is the total of the seeds in the inner intersect divided by 50 (which is the maximum total possible). This index can be tracked on a graph at periodic intervals.

by Dr. Ravi Jayakaran on March 31st, 2014

​​Engaging the local church is an integral part of an ‘Empowered community’. After an initial assessment is conducted of the entire community, one starts working with the local church to help them determine their own spiritual health and ultimately the role they play in the community. Through being in relationship with the church, the strategy is to seek to build up and encourage the church to take hold of its inheritance as Christ’s bride. 
​Much like during the community needs assessment, the church conducts an initial spiritual assessment using the same participatory tool called the Ten Seed Technique. Each small circle represents one of the nine fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22. The black dots within each of the small circles represent the ten seeds used in the actual exercise. The seeds placed within the larger, colored circle represent to what extent each fruit of the spirit is perceived to be manifested in the lives of church members. The remaining seeds are placed outside of the larger circle and represent the difference between how much that particular fruit of the spirit is thought to be manifest, and to what extent it could be. In other words, the latter represents the gap between perceived reality and full potential. 
​The top bar graph on the right shows the perceived manifestation of each fruit of the spirit in the lives of church members in 2011 and then again in 2013. The bar graph on the bottom right depicts the change within the Value Change Index (VCI). The VCI uses the information presented in the first bar graph to determine an average  of to what extent that the fruit of the spirit is represented in the lives of church members. The equation is as follows: number of seeds overlapping in the large circle divided by total number of seeds. The VCI provides a quantitative way to track the spiritual growth of the churches and also the community per se. 
All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2014-15, Dr. Ravi Jayakaran

by Dr. Ravi Jayakaran on January 31st, 2014

​It was great to see my name mentioned in the Atlanta Business Chronicle's Who's Who - Top 100 Leaders who are guiding the future of Atlanta's Health-Care Industry. Feels good to be listed along with people like Dr. Sanjay Gupta who is one of my favourite health professionals.

by Dr. Ravi Jayakaran on October 31st, 2013

In today’s world there is no shortage of technology for purifying water to make it safe for drinking. However, at the marginalized user end interface level, technology fails to have impact because of the low energy utilization in the area that makes it inappropriate for the area. Relief & Development agencies therefore have to continuously be in search of new, low cost appropriate technologies that can easily be transferred and adopted at the village in poor areas. This technology has to be cheap, require minimum technological capacities for maintenance, be easily adoptable by the poor and marginalized and be able to show dramatic results. One must therefore explored various options according to local contexts till it is possible to zero in on something specific like the ‘point-one-micron’ hollow fiber filter (sawyer) which meets all these criteria, and introduce them in the village development programs. One should also have a broad framework strategy similar to the food security assessment strategy, that is called the “A3U strategy” or the AAAU strategy. The AAAU, stands for the following:
  • Availability of water (natural water points and sources/wells –open and bore/ etc.)
  • Access to safe water (through filtration: BSF/Point-one-micron hollow fiber filters/etcetera) to ensure it is potable)
  • Asset creation through surplus water (where safe water can be used to generate income like a business)
  • Utilization of water (& safe water practices and behavior around it, including CLTS (Community Lead Total Sanitation)and ZOD(Zero Open Defecation)
​When starting in a new development area, one must start with exploring to see if water is available in the area that is free from contamination. Most communities already live around a water source such as a river, or pond or lake. These sources are often contaminated (with bacteria, protozoa, soil transmitted helminthes etcetera) and result in gastro intestinal problems. However, as long as there is no poisonous material causing contamination, this water can easily be filtered using the point one micron hollow filter (Sawyer®- see details at end of this blog). In some cases, especially resettled communities, there is no easy availability of water and villagers have to travel long distances to procure water, a task that often gets delegated to the women and teenage girls in the household. In such cases, it is good to look at either establishing a bore well in the area or rehabilitating one that is already there. Then one should explore other soil and water conservation techniques such as micro-water shed development and the construction of sand dams. Once Water becomes available, safe access to it and ensuring that it is safe becomes the next greatest concern. Where water is not extremely turbid or muddy, the BSF-Bio Sand Filter works very well, but in areas where there is muddy water with high contamination, the Point One Micron Water filter (Hollow fiber technology similar to the one used for Kidney Dialysis) is used. Several NGOs have had  very good response in using these filters in Indonesia, Kenya, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Honduras; to name a few. In one detailed study conducted in several parts of Ecuador, researchers found a 60-70% reduction in the disease burden, with a saving of close to 30-40 USD per month in medical expenses per household. Efforts are being made to explore options of how water filter users can also get into the business of selling  safe water so that those who have surplus water can use it to generate income and make ‘safe water’ an asset creating venture. A lot of contamination of water takes place around storage and utilization and this calls for training for behavior change. The CLTS (Community Lead Total Sanitation) program is complimentary to such activities to make it a successful WASH strategy to avoid Environmental Enteropathy.
​Important links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ4QFHIxpJA&sns=em (Kenya: introductions of hollow fiber water filters event)
http://vimeo.com/23852007 (Sanitized households)
http://vimeo.com/33557236 (Sawyer filters)
http://youtu.be/nHUcN1INUCo (TV interview regarding water Oklahoma)
http://vimeo.com/43945508 (Potential Macro water supply project)
http://youtu.be/RabGSlPermY (water hero- Change agents making a difference)

by Dr. Ravi Jayakaran on October 5th, 2010

 The W3P7 Strategy for Holistic Development shows how to integrate the empirical and spiritual dimensions of development for demonstrating and proclaiming the good news. 

This presentation by Dr. Ravi Jayakaran was made at the Lausanne World Congress in Cape Town in 2010.