Helping Markets and States Work for Development

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Advocacy-Oriented Strategy: Background Thoughts for ICICI Foundation
Author(s):Joanne Sprague
Membership:Advocacy-oriented strategy

There has been an interest in incorporating advocacy into ICICI Foundation strategy.  Almost all the five partner organizations work with the government in some fashion.  How much of these government interactions are translated into advocacy – reforming the system in which we are working, to make our programs more effective?  The development sector complains constantly about policy roadblocks – outdated legislation, poorly thought out regulation, endemic corruption, politicians pandering to popular trends rather than sustainable solutions.  While we do our best within these conditions, we can work simultaneously to fix these systemic problems at their root cause.  The question we need to answer is how we best fit into this network of change: how can we collectively leverage the Foundation’s strengths for optimal impact in programs AND advocacy?

This background note is intended to give a high-level overview of the basics of advocacy, why it is important, and how best-in-class organizations approach the topic.  Its secondary objective is to showcase various options for structuring an advocacy-oriented organization backed up by programming, to initiate a discussion on what model would best suit the Foundation to most effectively accomplish both its project and advocacy goals.

“Invited spaces, invited participation: Can invited spaces foster greater participation and accountability in service delivery?” - Yamini Aiyar
Author(s):Jay Chaudhuri
Membership:From Outlays to Outcomes


India boasts of a diverse and varied landscape of spaces where the government has opened itself up to invite citizen participation in directing and monitoring service delivery. Through decentralized reform, citizens have been invited to participate in planning and monitoring local government activity.  Despite this profusion and diversity of invitations, there are many open questions regarding how these spaces actually work in practice: Who participates and how? Does simply creating new spaces bring about meaningful participation? And, perhaps most crucially, can participation improve accountability for service delivery? This article contributes to the small but growing body of work that examines these questions. It draws on existing and new literature on participatory spaces to analyze the effectiveness and further, potential of these spaces to enhance accountability for service delivery. The specific analysis focuses on the experience with conducting social audits in the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

Brief_ESI 2008
Author(s):Rupanwita Dash
Membership:ESI:Environmentally Sustainability Index

a 4 page brief of ESI2008