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Civil Society Building

Starts on: 1 st & 15 th of every month | Duration: 6 Months | Registration open

Course Developers

Mr. Colin Ball

Mr. Colin Ball, The Commonwealth Foundation, London, UK, has worked extensively, written prolifically and carried out significant research in a wide range of fields including the non-profit, non-governmental sector, education and training. He is an accomplished speaker, consultant, trainer and facilitator. He founded the Centre for Employment Initiatives (UK) in 1980's.

Dr. K. Bandyopadhyay

Dr. Kaustuv Bandyopadhyay, PRIA, New Delhi, has more than twenty years of professional experience with universities, government research institutions and Indian civil society organisations. He is a leading practitioner of social accountability, citizenship education, capacity building of civil society organisations, participatory planning, monitoring and evaluation, and democracy building. He has extensive experience in citizen participation and democratic governance in both urban and rural contexts. He is a widely traveled and internationally renowned professional and has worked as an expert for several countries of the world.

Prof. L. D. Brown

Prof. L. David Brown, Director, International Programs, Hauser Centre for Non Profit Organisations, Harvard University, USA., L. David Brown is a senior research fellow at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations who conducts research on how international advocacy organizations and networks govern themselves and engage in effective advocacy. He also participates in the Center's research on civil society organizations in China, examining how experiences from other contexts can be adapted to strengthen their contributions to social development and problem-solving. Professor Brown retired from the faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School in 2009, after a decade as a lecturer in public policy and coordinator of international programs at the Hauser Center. Prior to his appointment at Harvard, he was professor of organizational behavior at Boston University and served as president of the Institute for Development Research

Prof. N. Chandhoke

Prof. Neera Chandhoke, Ph.D., Department of Political Science, Delhi University, has been associated in the field of study since 1966. Her area of specialization involves Political theory, Comparitive politics and Indian Politics. In 2011, she has been the Visiting Fellow, Centre for Ethics and Global Politics, Luiss University, Rome.

Prof. R. R. Singh

Prof. R. R. Singh, Retd. Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.Prof. Singh has pioneered mobile health care in collaboration with Ramakrishna Mission Hospital, Varanasi. He is associated with several academic/research bodies and has attended several national seminars concerned with issues of health, youth, and welfare. He is a member of expert committees on a range of medical and social issues and author of books on youth development, poverty, field education etc.

Dr. Rajesh Tandon

Dr. Rajesh Tandon, PRIA, New Delhi, is an internationally acclaimed leader and practitioner of participatory research and development. He founded the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), a voluntary organisation providing support to grassroots initiatives in South Asia, twenty-eight years ago, and continues to be its Chief Functionary since 1982. A renowned authority on participatory research, Dr. Tandon has championed the cause of building organisations and capacities of the marginalised through their knowledge, learning and empowerment. He has contributed to the emergence of several local, national and international groups and initiatives to promote authentic and participatory development of societies

Dr. Ranjita Mohanty

Dr. Ranjita Mohanty, is an independent scholar and research consultant based in New Delhi, India. As a political sociologist her abiding interest is to study politics of the poor and powerless. Her research has covered various aspects of social movements, participation, decentralized governance, development, social justice, citizenship rights of the marginalized and complexities of citizen- state relationship.Prof. T. K. Oommen, Former Professor, Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi. Dr. Mohanty was earlier with the Society for Participatory Research in Asia where she convened the DRC Citizenship Project in India. She is currently visiting the University of Western Cape, South Africa.

Prof. T.K.Oommen

Prof. T.K.Oommen, Ph.D.in Sociology has been former Professor at JNU, (School of Social Sciences). He has been awarded with Padma Shree in 2008. Along with teaching, he has been associated with several research projects sponsored by NCERT, International Youth Centre, Delhi University, United Nations etc.

About the Course Special Features Target_Audience Learning Outcomes Course Format


Recent years have witnessed dramatic changes in the social, political and economic arrangements throughout the world. It is increasingly being recognised that the state as an intervener in society, to bring about growth and development, has its limitations. Similarly, the role of private sector as a way of organising society and economy is restricted. The collective power of Civil Society (CS) in building social, economic and political agendas – both locally and globally, is slowly gaining strength. Collaboration between state, private sector and civil society thus is increasingly being viewed as a viable approach for solving complex social and economic problems.

Strengthening civil society as a sector is essential for democracy and for ensuring human development, well-being and equality. Members of a strong civil society will exhibit commitment to freedom and equality, to democracy, participation and mutual recognition of rights, vis a vis state, market and internal functioning.

This course is a response to the above needs and covers a range of conceptual and practical issues faced by civil society in their pursuit of social change.Its several courses of action discusses several courses of action to be taken to bring about social change include networking and partnering with a range of actors and stakeholders including the state and the corporate sector.


  • This innovative course is one of its kinds, at the national, regional and international level, offered in a distance education mode.
  • It will consider a range of conceptual and practical issues faced by civil society in their pursuit of social change. It includes critical analysis of different debates and perspectives on the theme.
  • It draws together theory and practice on civil society, through field case studies and practical illustrations.
  • It has leading national and international academics and practitioners as part of guest faculty and its advisory committee.
  • The course material is designed and developed, to meet the special requirements of a distance mode of education. It includes inbuilt exercises and in-text questions aimed at stimulating critical thinking and analysis.
  • Moodle the preferred web-based platform, used by educational institutions across the world, is used to maximize interaction between the instructors and the learners. Lively discussions take place in an asynchronous mode, enabling learners from across the globe to participate and share their comments, queries, suggestions, views and experiences in their virtual classroom.
  • Learners can also access the instructor through the Moodle, via emails, Skype and even over the telephone.


The course is intended for resource providers, policy makers, practitioners and researchers from South Asia, who are working or interested in working for strengthening civil society organizations. These include staff of donor agencies (multilateral, bi-lateral, state or non-state actors), government officials, civil society organisations, social activists, university students and researchers.

It will provide in-service career opportunity for practitioners. The participants can be mid-career professionals or new entrants, with limited practical experience of working for or with civil society organizations.


On completion of the course, the learners would:

  • Acquire basic understanding on the concept of civil society, with particular reference to developing countries
  • Be familiar with examples of civil society's contribution to development and strengthening democracy
  • Build understanding on strategies for strengthening civil society, at the sectoral and organizational level Course Developers


To strengthen the understanding of the learner on the concept of civil society; critically review existing on strategies for strengthening civil society, in its pursuit of addressing issues of poverty, democratisation and sustainable human development.


  • 6 units of study
  • Four evaluative exercises – Reflection note, quizzes and project based assignment.
  • 2–3 videos for the course
  • Powerpoint presentation giving the highlights of each unit
  • Additional readings per unit


Unit 1: Conceptual understanding of civil society

Unit 2: Civil society and other actors

Unit 3: Civil society and development

Unit 4: Civil society and democracy

Unit 5: Strategies to strengthen civil society

Unit 6: Global civil society

Select A Course You Want to Register For (atleast one course should be select)

Appreciation Programmes
  Adult Education and Social Change
  Monitoring of Adult Education Programme
  Participatory Enumeration and Mapping
  Participatory Integrated District Planning
  Participatory Social Audit: A Tool for Social Accountability
  Participatory Urban Planning: Making Cities Inclusive of Urban Poor
  Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace
  Women’s Political Empowerment and Leadership
Certificate Programmes
  International Dimensions of Adult Education and Lifelong Learning
  Civil Society Building
  International Perspectives in Citizenship, Democracy and Accountability
  International Perspectives in Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation
  International Perspectives in Participatory Research
  NGO Management Foundation Course
  Occupational Health and Safety: Legal and Operational Guide
  Understanding Gender in Society: Concepts and Trends
  Participatory Training Methodology
Training Capsule
  Understanding the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013

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  • For INR Transfer

  • Name of the Account Holder: PRIA Educational Trust
  • Name of the Bank: Axis Bank Ltd.
  • Address of the Bank: K - 1998, Chittranjan Park, New Delhi - 110019
  • Account Number: 913010024103220
  • IFSC Code: UTIB0000430

  • For Dollar Transfer

  • Name of the Account Holder: PRIA Educational Trust
  • Name of the Bank: Axis Bank Ltd
  • Address of the Bank: K - 1998, Chittranjan Park, New Delhi - 110019
  • Account Number: 913010024103220
  • Axis Bank New Delhi Swift code:AXISINBB049
  • Corresponding Bank: JP Morgan Chase Bank, New York
  • Swift Code of Corresponding Bank: CHASUS33
  • IFSC Code: UTIB0000430


  • Drawn in favour of: PRIA EDUCATIONAL TRUST
  • Payable at: New Delhi


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    Kishori Panchayat Member
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    Ashok Kadam
  • PRIA has helped to build a large movement for citizens to use Panchayati Raj Institutions at the local level, to use their leadership, their voice, to bring about democracy from below

    Dr John Gaventa, Director of Research
    Institute of Development Studies
    Sussex, UK
  • I have thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of being able to enroll myself in the course…this program has opened my eyes to possibilities for my life which were previously unconsidered

    Tripti Vinita Pal, Alumnus
    Appreciation course
  • Participatory Approaches for Social Inclusion course was undoubtedly beneficial for my research work, providing a deep understanding of theoretical aspects and the applied side of participation

    Pallavi Mishra
    PhD Research Scholar
    Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • I am a third party facilitator for three large institutions but I did not know half the things we have discussed in the Third Party Facilitator Training I attended organized by PRIA

    Joint Secretary of Lakshmi, an NGO
  • Thank you PRIA -- for helping me gain the confidence to speak up. Today, I do not hesitate to speak with the sarpanch.

    Renu Joshi
    ASHA worker
    Hinglaz gali Anganwadi Centre, Siwana Block, Barmer, Rajasthan
  • Elected members & officials from Northern Province, Sri Lanka visited PRIA to learn about their exemplary work in developing citizen participation in governance and service delivery. JGU thanks PRIA.

    Prof. R. Sudarshan
    Dean, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy
    O.P. Jindal Global University
  • Undeniably good work done by PRIA. My visits to the communities they work with let me hear grassroots voices and stories...deeply rewarding for my personal growth, work and future research

    Loreen Regnander
    Intern, University of Victoria, Canada
  • PRIA facilitators listen, engage and explain at the level where participants understand and learn through many practical exercises. The best workshop on gender that our employees have attended

    Tsering Youdon
    Program Officer, Swedish Organisation for Individual Relief
    SOIR-IM, Dehradun, Uttarakhand

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