|ALIP - Action Learning Initatives of PRIA|
In ‘Making Democracy Work For All Citizens’, policies and practices must be aligned to bring social equality, social cohesiveness and social responsibilities with gender justice and dignity. Action Learning Initiatives of PRIA (ALIP) is premised on the philosophy of action–learning–action for citizen participation in decision-making. ALIP focuses on democratic decentralised governance and promotion of inclusion through mainstreaming the marginalised, empowering civil society voices, ensuring accountability of institutions, building leadership of citizens and engendering institutional responses.
Democratizing democracy: Participation and governance
ALIP engages with municipalities, panchayats, state legislatures and Parliament to build knowledge on the democratic functioning of institutions and undertakes policy advocacy for people-centric reforms.
ALIP undertakes experimentations and systematizsation related to the issues of rural and urban planning and development, and citizen participation in and monitoring of public decision-making. As a National Resource Centre on District Planning (NRCDP), ALIP works for promotion of participatory district planning, issue based micro-planning in rural and urban areas, and spatial planning for development. The centre prepares City Development Plans (CDPs), Detail Project Reports (DPRs) and Local Area Plans (LAPs) adopting participatory methodologies. ALIP also promotes citizen engagement and social accountability in governance institutions through supporting citizen charters, social audits, grievance redressal systems and governance reforms.
Strengthening civil society voices and engagements
ALIP works towards building capacities of civil society organisations in India so that their voices are heard and actions noticed and appreciated. It facilitates large-scale civil society engagements with societal issues which relate to governance in the country. ALIP is working towards sustaining and strengthening PRIA’s civil society relations through strategic partnership and regular dialogue.
Women’s political leadership and gender equity
ALIP continues to focus on empowering women in local government as well as on making the institutions of governance more gender responsive. Large-scale civil society driven initiatives in states are striving to address the issues of gender equity and gender justice by engaging with institutions of governance. ALIP extends technical support and guidance to civil society organisations in analysing policies and practices, and advocating for effective policy changes.
Inclusive policies for social exclusion
ALIP focuses on interventions like capacity building tools, enabling policies and strategic partnerships to strengthen the voices of/for minorities and tribals. It facilitates horizontal and vertical networking and complementation among different levels of civil society organisations to converge ideas and actions for mainstreaming dalit and tribal development agenda in local and higher governance. For this, ALIP also works towards strengthening the engagement of civil society organisations in analysis of local realities and constructive engagement in policymaking and programme implementation. It has linkages with administration, political parties, UGC centres and other research institutions/ media, SC Commissions and Finance Commissions, State/Central ministries and State/Central Planning Commissions on the issues/problems of mainstreaming SCs and STs.
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Balancing development with environmental sustainability is one of the biggest challenges the world faces now. Promoting local development that is citizen-centric and citizen-led means local environment issues also need to be taken care of by local institutions and citizens. ALIP’s works on environmental governance focuses on strategies and processes to integrate environmental governance with local governance so that local development initiatives take into account socio-economic well being of citizens as well as their environment. It works towards making the environment a priority governance agenda of panchayats and municipalities.
Manoj Rai, Director