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What Communities Want: Putting Community Resilience Priorities on the Agenda for 2014, 2013


On behalf of the Huairou Commission and UNDP

This action research, conducted by the Community Practitioners Platform for Resilience in seven Asian countries, is an effort to capture the voices of community leaders and bring the resilience priorities of poor, disaster-prone communities into debates that will shape the new policy frameworks on disaster risk reduction to be launched in 2015.


Engendering Anti-Corruption Programmes: A Toolkit Designed to Produce Actionable Outcomes, 2012


On behalf of the Huairou Commission and UNDP

Corruption is a major impediment to development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Undertaken in eight nations worldwide using several indicators and translators, this study documents the ways in which grassroots women in the developing world experience public-sector corruption. It voices their concerns and presents their recommendations for country-level anti-corruption initiatives. The study was launched by the UNDP at the International Anti-Corruption Conference organised by Transparency International in Brasilia in November, 2012.

Seeing Beyond the State: Grassroots Women's Perspectives on Corruption and Anti-Corruption, 2012

Seeing Beyond the State

On behalf of the Huairou Commission and UNDP

The Huairou Commission and UNDP's Global Thematic Programme on Anti-Corruption for Development Effectiveness (PACDE) teamed up to undertake a study in 11 communities across eight countries spanning three continents. The study illuminates grassroots women's perceptions and lived experiences, bringing to the forefront grassroots women's voices to contribute to anti-corruption programming.


Transforming Development: Creating Synergies Between Grassroots Women and Institutions of Governance, 2012


A compendium of best practices that illustrate how grassroots organisations have evolved strategies from global trends to include women in governance.


Panchayat Literacy for Women: A Toolkit to Promote Political Participation of Women, 2011

Panchayat  Literacy for Women

In collaboration with Mahila Samakhya, Uttarakhand

A toolkit to systematically build the governance capacities of women in the Panchayats.


The Nari Adalat: A Toolkit to Promote Gender Justice, 2011

Nari Adalat

For Mahila Samakhya, Gujarat

Context, perspective and non-negotiable criteria for the setting up and functioning of the Nari Adalat or women's courts whose objective is to provide gender justice to poor women.


Addressing Inequalities Through Gender Education, 2011

Addressing Inequalities

Mahila Samakhya, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala

A toolkit that addresses gender education through capacity building for master trainers at the state and district levels. These trainers subsequently train schoolteachers on gender equality in education.


Women's Rights and Empowerment, 2011

Womens Rights Empowerment

For the Ministry of Women and Child Development

Based on a one-year study of the best practices in grassroots women's empowerment in Mahila Samakhya, these messages include promoting synergies with rights-based women's collectives, recognising them as grassroots partners for women's issues, and recognising federations as building blocks for the holistic development of women.


Education for Empowerment, 2011

Education for Empowerment

For the Ministry of Human Resource Development

Policy inputs to enable the Ministry to locate literacy programmes within women's collectives and embed literacy into the empowerment process, thereby increasing social and community insights into educational processes.


Community Development and Women, 2011

Community Development

For the Ministry of Rural Development

Sanghas and federations, rights-based collectives of rural women's organisations, emerged as a result of the Mahila Samakhya programme of the MHRD. This policy brief, culled for the Ministry of Rural Development from a year-long study of the best practices of these organisations, recommends ways in which community participation can be increased by linking with federations as implementation partners.


Women's Leadership in Local Governance, 2011

Women's Leadership

For the Ministry of Panchayati Raj

The primary agenda of all Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) programmes is to ensure collective empowerment through a bottom-up approach. This brief, based on a year-long study of grassroots collectives of the Mahila Samakhya programme, recommends promoting community-based governance mechanisms, recognising these organisations as grassroots partners for planning and involving them to engender governance.


Introducing the Mahila Samakhya Movement: Innovations towards Education for Empowerment - Grassroots Women's Movement, 2010

Innovations towards Education

For DFID, India

A compendium that covers best practices and innovations in the Mahila Samakhya programme across eight states and showcases the icons among them. The core practices include (a) The Adult Literacy Programmes, that impart need-based literacy and numeracy (b) Nari Adalats (women's courts) that deliver gender justice (c) Mahila Shikshan Kendras (MSKs), residential schools for young adolescent girls, and (d) Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs), a national programme which mainstreamed the MSKs. The innovations include (a) the Data Exhibition in Assam (b) the Panchayat Literacy Programme for Women in Uttarakhand.


Data Exhibition : An Innovative Tool for Citizen Monitoring and Entitlements, 2010


For the Ministry of Human Resource Development and DFID

The Data Exhibition was a tool created by Mahila Samakhya, Assam, to enhance accountability and transparency in Panchayati Raj Institutions. The initiative involved women's groups holding public exhibitions wherein real entitlement data was juxtaposed against official data of entitlements obtained by filing the RTI. This exposed the corruption in the system and helped people demand their entitlements. The study has been so well received that the National Women's Empowerment Mission is now piloting a programme to institutionalise this innovation nationally.


Grassroots Women and Decentralised Governance: Change Through Partnership, 2010

Women and Decentralised Governance

On behalf of the Huairou Commission

A compendium of best practices documenting grassroots women's initiatives in local governance in India, Kenya, Peru, Russia and the Czech Republic.


Global Dialogues Evaluation Report: Asia Region, 2008

Sangeetha Purushothaman and Mukta Banerjee

The Global Dialogues programme was initiated by the Ford Foundation in 2002 to draw visibility and greater legitimacy to the area of human sexuality, and thereby influence decision-making. In evaluating the work of the South and South-East Asia Resource Centre on Sexuality, based in TARSHI, an NGO in New Delhi, this report analyses results, identifies effective and sustainable strategies, and examines how organisational development issues affect results.

Gender Toolkit for Centres of Advanced Technology and Training, 2007

Gender Toolkit

For GTZ, an Indo-German bilateral technical cooperation initiative

BPF has the capacity to engender a variety of areas - governance, corruption, resilience, climate change, energy, and so on. The primary objective of this study, commissioned by GTZ, an Indo-German bilateral technical cooperation initiative in 2007, was to develop a gender strategy to help expand technical opportunities for women. BPF researched technical training institutes across five states in India and found that open access alone does not boost the enrollment of women in technical and vocational education and training institutes TVETs. What is required is a deliberate gender strategy that involves active recruitment, adaption to the needs of women and dialogue on gender mainstreaming. We formulated a five-module gender toolkit centred on gender planning, budgeting, sensitisation, implementation of gender plans, and monitoring.


Vocational Education and Gender, 2007

For the Task Force on Skill Development and Vocational Training, Planning Commission, Government of India

Acquired through broad consultative processes, these inputs focus on the inclusion of women and other excluded groups in vocational training. Its recommendations include the expansion of vocational training institutes, better outreach, more loans and scholarships, gender sensitisation of stakeholders and training for self-employment to make vocational training more inclusive.


Women and Local Governance: A Strategy Paper

On behalf of the Huairou Commission, commissioned by the International Union of Local Authorities

Sensitising local government to the need for mechanisms that allow women's effective participation in local decision-making is vital to good governance. This paper presents the perspectives of both grassroots women and local government. It highlights best practices of successful partnerships between women and local government and from these examples, outlines the principles on which such a partnership can be based, locally and globally. It simultaneously outlines gaps in areas of work and the basis for future partnerships from a grassroots women's perspective.


The Oni Gumpu Strategy, 2006

Oni Gumpu Strategy

For Mahila Samakhya, Karnataka

In the Oni Gumpu strategy introduced by Mahila Samakhya, Karnataka, neighbourhood groups constitute a platform for information dissemination, community programme monitoring and addressing important issues. This paper builds a case for replicating the strategy through an examination of its objectives, process, capacity-building needs, cost effectiveness, impact and achievements.


Market Oriented Value Enhancement (MOVE): A Trainer's Manual to Promote Access to Market for the Landless and Women, 2006

MOVE landless

BPF gender/ livelihood innovation

Turning the poor into entrepreneurs can radically transform their standard of living and social status. BPF's Market Oriented Value Enhancement (MOVE) methodology teaches participants to understand and enter the market through an innovative tool called a Participatory Market Appraisal.


Strengthening Women's Federations: A Collective Assessment, 2004

Strengthening Women's Federations

For Mahila Samakhya, Karnataka

An assessment of the growth of women's federations through their history, activities and feedback of their performance from women. This study was based on 32 federations formed by Mahila Samakhya, Karnataka, and assessed the need for capacity building to strengthen these federations.


Building Women's Capacities

Building Women's Capacities

Urban Agriculture magazine, 2004

Livelihood initiatives often overlook the needs of landless women, who tend to be less mobile and encumbered by reproductive responsibilities. This article makes a strong case for addressing the issue by a) building their capacity to understand markets b) mobilising them into groups c) creating innovative financial instruments, and d) providing a marketing infrastructure.


From Rhetoric to Reality: Gender Mainstreaming Urban Policies and Enabling Legislation, 2002

Rhetoric to Reality

For the Expert Group meeting led by the UNCHS on Urban Policies and Enabling Legislation

A gender perspective of urban issues and women's initiatives that have emerged in response to them; a framework with policy implications for engendered governance and gender sensitive urban policies.


Capacity Development of Grassroots Networks to Become Effective Partners in Local Governance for Poverty Eradication: Lessons from Below, 2002

On behalf of the Huairou Commission, commissioned by The LIFE Global Programme, UNDP

A summary of the capacity building and support needs of grassroots networks attempting to build alliances with other institutions working to combat poverty. It outlines the role of government and donors in legitimising the influence of these networks so that communities can have a say in determining their own destinies.


The Beedi Sector in India: An Overview - Improving Working Conditions and Employment Opportunities for Women Workers in the Beedi Industry, 2001

Beedi Sector

For ILO and Department of Labour, Karnataka

A comprehensive overview of India's beedi industry and the goals and expected outcomes of ILO's beedi sector programme. The report recommends a two pronged strategy of working with the community that includes a) mobilising female relatives of beedi workers into SHGs for alternative livelihoods, and (b) working with unions to improve the conditions of beedi workers.


Engendering Governance: Grassroots Women's Best Practices, 2001

Engendering Governance

On behalf of the Huairou Commission

A compendium of best practices in local governance and community participation, these articles describe solutions created by grassroots women to their community issues in South America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Mideast.


Women's Access to and Control Over Financial Resources: Towards Development and Redesigning Policy, 2000

For the Women and Child Development Department, Government of Karnataka

This study reviews self-help group programmes and concepts, identifies gaps and offers recommendations for information and field initiatives in Karnataka. The overall policy to facilitate women's access to and control over resources, was written from the perspectives of three institutional actors in the field - government, banks and the NGO sector.


Challenging Development: A Grassroots Women's North-South Dialogue, 1999

Challenging Development

Community-based organisations of grassroots men and women possess a significant knowledge base that tends not to leave the local arena. Representing writings from the north and south, this book covers movements from North and South America, Africa, Turkey, Canada and Germany in an attempt to give grassroots community-based women's movements a voice and visibility. Since grassroots women leaders are very rarely the writers and owners of their own work, this book is an accomplishment in that it is their voices and those of other grassroots women that speak through it.