Democracy & Governance

Deepening democracy and good governance is critical for ensuring sustainable development and last mile delivery of public services. Be it in the field of education, sanitation, nutrition, livelihood or health, India has failed to deliver services to its citizens, especially to those who are poor, or those belonging to marginalized communities.
The ‘Good to Great Report - Taking the Governance Leap in India’ published by Dasra in 2015 highlights that India has failed in some of the key governance indicators set by the World Bank such as voice of its citizens and accountability of its institutions, government effectiveness and transparency, rule of law, redistributive justice and equity. While on one hand governments need to deliver these outcomes in an inclusive and participatory manner, on the other hand, citizens need to be able to access these services and hold their governments to account.
For India to achieve the SDG targets by 2030, it is essential to ensure our governance is open, accountable, participatory and responsive to the needs of all Indians, especially the most vulnerable. Both civil society and the private sector will have to come together to support the government in the achievement of these targets.

Our Work

Our Approach

Our role is to drive greater investment to strengthen government and system effectiveness, empower citizens to access rights and entitlements, and support them to seek redressal in case their rights are violated. Towards this, Dasra launched the Democracy and Governance Collaborative in 2015. It is a unique platform of funders, governments, non-profits and other non-profits who work together to improve governance and achieve the SGD targets. We support non – profits that focus on three areas which have the potential for high impact within the sector.

Decentralized local governments are closest to the people and have the power to respond to their needs and aspirations. Despite a Constitutional mandate, Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies are not empowered to undertake the last mile delivery of basic services. There is a need to build capacities and mechanisms of accountability and transparency of these local governments if India is to achieve it SDG targets. As Mahatma Gandhi had said: ‘Greater the power of the Panchayats, the better for the people’

People, especially the poor and the marginalized, in India have limited voice in decisions that affect their lives. This has led to general apathy and there has been no one to hold the government to account. Good Governance is the joint responsibility of the citizens and the government. Citizens need to actively participate in policy making and implementation. For this citizens need free flow of information, knowledge of rights and entitlements, transparency in government actions, platforms to interact with the government, grievance redressal systems and a greater understanding of the law.

Despite the Indian constitution guaranteeing equal access to justice, the poor in India are unable to seek justice due to lack of legal awareness, inability to afford legal aid, lack of knowledge of legal systems and inefficiencies in the court room. Discriminatory provisions in the legal framework and other societal discriminations further amplify this. The collaborative strives to ensure that the justice system is equally accessible to all Indian citizen

Real Stories, Real Change

We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website by showing you relevant ads and content. By continuing your navigation, you accept the placement and use of cookies. To learn more about cookies and/ or to opt-out of these services, please see our Privacy Policy.