Workshop on Policy Implications of Indian Civil Society Participation in India’s Development Cooperation

Workshop on Policy Implications of Indian Civil Society Participation in India’s Development Cooperation

Venue: PRIA, 42, Tughlakabad Institutional Area, New Delhi - 110062

In recent years the volume and diversity of Indian development cooperation, under the broad rubric of South-South Development Cooperation (SSDC), has grown dramatically. The new government at the centre has indicated that this cooperation, through a variety of instruments like, Technical Assistance, Training and Capacity Building, Trade and Investment, Concessional Line of Credit, and other Financial Assistance will continue to expand. India, so far, has largely relied and engaged government and business institutions to implement its development cooperation with other developing countries.

Many Indian Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for decades have been implementing a wide range projects and programmes in other developing countries, with resources from International NGOs, Foundations, Bilateral, Multilateral agencies and occasionally with assistance from Government of India. The practical knowledge and skills gained through implementing projects and programmes nationally and sub-nationally have been utilised by these CSOs in other developing countries with similar development contexts. However, the current official policy and practice do not adequately and explicitly recognise the existing and potential contributions of Indian CSOs in development cooperation. There is need for an informed and constructive policy dialogue between government, CSOs, academia, media and other actors for institutionalising CSO engagement in India’s development cooperation.

The role and contribution of Indian CSOs at the national and sub-national development is well documented. However, there is a dearth of systematic research and analyses of the role and contribution of Indian CSOs as providers of SSDC. An initial mapping pointed out that there are indeed several CSO-led initiatives, the analyses of which could provide significant lessons for framing SSDC policy and practices.

In the last two years, particularly after the formation of Development Partnership Administration – an agency responsible for formulation of SSDC policies and programmes and coordination of SSDC projects – under the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, PRIA and some other CSOs have made some modest endeavour to initiate meaningful policy dialogues and engagement with DPA. The Forum for Indian Development Cooperation (FIDC) was launched in 15 January 2013 by these institutions under the leadership of Research and Information Systems in Developing Countries (RIS) to have a forum for exploring various facets of development cooperation, which would also seek to draw upon India’s own experience. These initial engagements have been encouraging but it needs to be much more robust and meaningful towards generating and communicating evidences and lessons from Indian CSO-led development cooperation practices to support policy advocacy for institutionalizing CSO engagement in India’s development cooperation.

PRIA in associations with a number of Indian CSOs has initiated a study on Contributions of Indian Civil Society Organisations as Providers of South-South Development Cooperation. The study has documented and analysed 10 cases focusing on the trans-national projects that Indian CSOs have implemented in the recent years. This empirical analysis will be used to recommend appropriate policies and guidelines for enabling CSO engagement in Indian development cooperation.

In this backdrop, PRIA in collaboration with FIDC, with the support of Heinrich Böll Foundatin - India,  is pleased to organise a one-day workshop on Policy Implications of Indian Civil Society Participation in Indian Development Cooperation on 20 November 2015, at PRIA, New Delhi. The specific objectives of the workshop are to:

  • Share case studies of transnational projects/programmes implemented by Indian CSOs
  • Draw lessons from these case studies for policy implications on SSDC
  • Suggest modalities for engaging Indian CSOs in Indian Development Cooperation

Information :

Shalini Yog
Deputy Director
E: shalini.yog@in.boell.org