AJWS supported BPF in the project aimed at enhancing the capacity of a secretariat consisting of MS allies and BPF in seven states across the country including Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana and Uttarakhand
The purpose in this project was to create platform for dialogues amongst women federation members to build new institutional arrangements that foster autonomy and sustainability for those federations from whom the Central government support has been withdrawn. With the help of the MS experts, BPF facilitated an inclusive approach where the voice, expectations, and demands of women were brought to the forefront. New partnerships were built as well as forward-looking strategies and methods of collaboration and networking were envisioned, driven by grassroots women’s federations and collectives
BPF re-modeled a social audit tool for federations to monitor progress on the sustainable development goals of education and gender equity in Assam, and fill gaps based on feedback from the federation women of Assam Mahila Samata Society and the Jan Kalyan Khanda Mahasangh.
Assam Mahila Samata Society, BPF and Jan Kalyan Khanda Mahasangh together re-worked the Data Exhibition to monitor sustainable development goals (SDGs), an innovative social audit tool for federations to monitor entitlements. The tools were deployed by women’s collectives themselves to monitor progress on the sustainable development goals of Education (SDG 4) and gender equity (SDG 5) in their local context. The data exhibition helped to spread awareness amongst the community members on the existing schemes and its benefits. It also alerted the government officials about the discrepancies in the data illustrating reach of the programmes and entitlements. The issues highlighted in the exhibition included quality education, incidence of child labour, child marriage, violations against women, wage discrimination, and access to public entitlements.
Through a project supported by AJWS, adolescent girls were mobilized and empowered in order to create a level playing field for them, and women’s collectives from four states (Assam, Bihar, Karnataka and Telangana), were strengthened towards building new, autonomous institutional arrangements
In 2017, AJWS supported dialogues with women’s federations across the country on how women could work towards strengthening their collectives to tackle issues to protect their rights. As a result of these dialogues a new intervention emerged in 2018, Building Women and Girls’ Agency Through Collectives also supported by AJWS, with the goals of Institutional Strengthening of Sanghas and federations and Empowerment of Adolescent Girls to become change agents in their communities
BPF collaborated with CBPS in a project aimed to strengthen women’s federations through mentoring, organising platforms for meaningful dialogues between federations and conducting regional workshops to let women reflect on their current status.
The collaboration between CBPS and BPF emanated from an alignment of their work and association with the Mahila Samakhya programme. CBPS supported two workshops; a Northern Regional Workshop held from 28-29th November at the Seva Sadan in Patna, Bihar, attended by office bearers from 13 federations across three states, namely Assam (4 federations), Bihar (6 federations) and Jharkhand (3 federations). The Southern Regional Workshop was held from the 23rd and 24th February, 2018 at Indian Social Institute, Bangalore with 33 participants representing Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana as well as partner organisations. They came together to envision the way forward collectively by building on their strengths, identifying challenges and defining their future for themselves.
Since the issues around transgender inclusion is a new one and something that does not have sufficient support, BPF is steadily networking with a range of stakeholders including corporate partners.
In order to strengthen the organisation, BPF engaged in reflection processes to understand strengths and weakness and move towards a strategic plan. We are also engaging with Praxis, a reputed organisation, to help us work out participatory monitoring systems. We have better our capacity to apply for a range of funders- including multilaterals and bigger funding agencies.
The focus of the project is on supporting collectives working with sex workers and LGBTIQ communities in rural areas at the intersections of gender and caste, towards greater voice and participation in local decision-making.
Some new areas of intervention in the project is helping people understand issues around mental health and also increase and deepen digital literacy among these populations in small town/rural Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Both these needs emerged from the community and this was a response to this. The objective for the intervention on mental health is to create peer counselors who are alert to issues of mental distress including preventing suicide. The objective of the digital literacy initiative is to improve people’s ability to use the range of mobile services available but also ensure that they stay safe.
This two-year programme provided assistance to CBO members to initiate and expand their livelihood options, support to handle crisis situations along with teaching them crisis management, reduce violence, have greater confidence and a strong sense of self-worth. Support for capacity building was provided as well.
These communities have little opportunity to build their leadership. Through this project we have helped them deal with issues of confidence, team building and risk taking. Conducting four city level discussions on specific topics helped improve the depth of understanding of our understanding community needs and capacities.
The programme gives financial, emotional, social and intellectual support to a small group of changemakers and gives them the freedom to pursue their ideas and vision so as to bring new voices into the movement and change the agendas that the movements are pursuing.
People from sexual minority communities have expressed a desire to grow beyond the confines of the HIV prevention and treatment service delivery paradigm. There are a number of leaders who are committed, inspired and have not had a chance to develop the ideas and approaches. There is growing dissatisfaction and frustration among grassroots activists as most of the interventions that are focused on HIV service provision are failing to deliver due to being denied their basic social entitlements. The project is supporting two women from the sex trade, to work on the welfare of other sex workers and also document their stories of struggle and perseverance.
HCF commissioned BPF to support Community Based Organisations (CBOs).
In order to build perspective and solidarity; debate, plan and measure impact with respect to crisis response strategies, we designed quarterly workshops with CBOs. The agenda for this was co- created and co-owned by the CBO members. In 2016, support was extended to 4 partner organizations; two in Karnataka and two in the newly formed state of Telangana. This resulted in an immense boost in the confidence of these community organisations to tackle crisis cases and encourage more community members to join them
To map best practices and challenges in terms of the policies which are being rolled out in various states
There has been huge advance made in country at the policy level on transgender issues often there are gaps in implementation. There are also efforts to ensure that the benefits are reaching the community members. Through a study in different states in partnership with CBOs located in the different states we are documenting these issues and practices in order to help government officials and other better implement the projects.
Over the course of the last year, workshops and events with the LGBT community were held to understand the prevalent issues and explore possible solutions.
A workshop was conducted with the CBOs that we work with in September 2016 in Goa to cover issues ranging from leadership and power, basic legal strategies, accounting and building stronger management boards. We also looked at the core issue of violence and response to crises. Another workshop called ‘Redefining Inclusion’ was held on 13th August 2016 in Bangalore within the LGBTQI community. The aim was to encourage urban/privileged sub-communities to broaden their horizons of understanding and come to terms with the realities of sub-communities within the LGBTQI fold that are not necessarily privileged. It tackled real-time issues like caste discrimination, ageism, religious intolerance, non-binary identity discrimination and prejudice faced by the disabled within the community. It also unveiled the kind of crises faced by sexual minorities and the responses that were possible – showing clearly that those with privilege had access to many more options.
BPF offered a fellowship to a trans-man, KiranNayak B so that he can be an effective voice of the transgender community.
Kiran's participation in public workshops, conferences, consultations and interactions with government officials and community members has made him feel more confident about himself while presenting his work. His constant and steady engagement with the lesbian, bisexual and trans-persons in the community has borne fruit in the sense that their opinions and inputs which have been marginalized so far are being brought to the fore now managed to assume greater significance. His conversations with government officials have been productive as quite a few are also in agreement with the cause Kiran is working towards.
To foster leadership, workshops were held with volunteers and members from the communities of female sex workers in Karnataka and sexual minorities in Telangana, to build their self- confidence and share with them strategies to improve their health.
Through the project, there is a deepened understanding of the problems and issues of female sex workers and sexual minorities. Budding leaders from these communities have been holding meetings with other stakeholders (such as government officials, teachers, students, etc.) to sensitise them on issues faced by their communities.
BPF Bangalore developed courses on Communication, English and Information Technology rolled out from June 2014, for 21 of FCN’s NGO partners from six states.
BPF conducted a series of needs assessment workshops with staff of FCN’s NGO partners from six states to determine the specific needs, capacities, expectations and level of buy-in. Subsequently, BPF Bangalore developed the courses on Communication, English and Information Technology, and then piloted them with staff at Dharwad as well as with the staff of Agricultural Development and Training Society at Bagepalli. Based on their feedback, the courses were further modified and formally rolled out from June 2014. Two senior staff from each of the 21 NGOs attended Training of Trainers (TOT) in two groups, led by our Master Trainer, Sudha Menon. Four BPF trainers along with TOT facilitators trained Fair Climate Network team members in 47 subgroups sessions across India.
Axis Bank Foundation (ABF) wanted its CSR processes and procedures comprehensively charted out in a systematic, user friendly manner. BPF and ABF staff created a manual that could serve as a reference point for issues, rules and questions while also acting as a guide for implementation in ABF programmes
The basic methodology included process documentation, meeting field workers, then programme heads and staff to understand procedures and lacuna, creating flow charts and a procedure template, and having designating ABF staff fill in templates for their particular spheres of activity.