Engaging State Institutions - PRIA India's Strategic Approaches


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A presentation on PRIA's strategic approaches over the last 3 decades by PRIA India Founder and President Dr. Rajesh Tandon and Martha Farell, Director. Presented at the Community Development Resource Association Cape Town, South Africa

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Engaging State Institutions - PRIA India's Strategic Approaches

  1. 1. Engaging State Institutions PRIA’s Strategic Approaches over Three Decades Presentation by Dr. Rajesh Tandon Ms. Martha Farrell 31 May 2012 at Community Development Resource Association Cape Town, South Africa www.pria.org
  2. 2. Phase I : Systematizing Local Knowledge for Empowerment (1981-86) • Participatory methodologies of community engagement (DWCRA, Primary Health Care, Literacy) • Inputs to advocate community participation mechanisms (ICDS, NAEP) • Training of frontline government functionaries (NAEP, ICDS, IRDP)
  3. 3. Phase II: Building Competencies as Change Agents (1986-1991) • Resisting governmental regulation of voluntary action (code of conduct, VANI) • Building capacities to ensure effective compliance with regulation (finance, incorporation, governance) • Deliberate interventions in national government’s programme design & planning (CAPART’s Social Animator’s, CSWB’s Women’s Empowerment, Labour Ministry’s OHS, NLM, community forestry, NWDB)
  4. 4. Phase III: Institutional Strengthening of Civil Society (1992-1996) • Advocacy to integrate PR, community participation and role of NGOs in national social sector programmes • Engaging with UN & WB to ensure global policy for participation of primary stakeholders (reflections in DPEP, rehabilitation of displaced, watershed development, RMK) • Institutional reforms for registration, funding & space for policy dialogues with civil society (ministry & bilateral funding windows for NGOs, reforms of Society Registration Acts)
  5. 5. Phase IV: Accountable Panchayats (1997-2001) • Multi-faceted interventions by mobilizing civil society to make panchayats effective and accountable institutions of local self- governance (CB of elected reps, micro- planning, mobilization of Gram Sabha) • Engaging provincial & national governments for effective devolution of authority and resources to panchayats (rural development, forestry, education) • Advocacy with International Development Organisations to promote capacity development of local NGOs (advocacy at national levels with governments to create enabling provisions & environment for capacity enhancement)
  6. 6. Phase V: Governance from Below (2002-2008) • Engaging provincial & state governments to finance voters’ awareness campaigns and capacity building of local governments by civil society (PEVACs & PRJAs) • Focus on enabling environment for civil society (national policy, regulatory framework, structures of dialogues at all spheres of governance)
  7. 7. Phase V: Governance from Below (2002-2008) (contd.) • Monitoring government policies and programmes to strengthen local governments (RTI and social accountability efforts by citizens’ associations) • Monitoring and advocacy of national& provincial statutory and legal commissions (SEC, SFC, Women, SC/ST, Human Rights) • Simultaneous engagements in democratizing global governance institutions (southern civil society voices in UN, BWI,WTO, G8)
  8. 8. Phase VI: Multi-sectoral Engagements for Deepening Democracy (2008-2012) • Convening multi-sectoral plat- forms (between government, civil society, academia, media, etc) on National and District Planning, professionalizing social development education, urban poverty & municipal governance • National conferences on Citizenship & Governance as multi-sectoral engagements — academia, civil society & governments
  9. 9. Phase VI: Multi-sectoral Engagements for Deepening Democracy (2008-2012) Contd…. • Engaging national government to convene dialogues on Five Year Plans, Annual Budgets, Gender Policy & Budgeting, Regulation of Civil Society, Community Engagement of Higher Education • Preparing civil society to become an interlocutor of government global policies and programmes (of international aid, G20, IBSA, BRICS, IMF/WB, security, SAARC/ASEAN)
  10. 10. Multiple roles of government: • Regulatory • Funding • Policy-making • National development planning & implementation Multiple spheres: • Local/municipal • Provincial • National • Trans-national
  11. 11. Multiple Agencies of the State • Legislatures (and Standing Committees) • Statutory Commissions • Ministries/executive • Para-statals • Judiciary