Samarthan has a large network of grassroots groups (Non Government Organizations /Community Building Organizations) to demonstrate examples of participatory governance as well as to amplify voices of the poor, dalits, tribals and women in policy-making platforms. We also strive to strengthen PRI representatives’ network at all levels and build their capacities to carry out decentralized development and governance.
In order to build micro-macro linkages, Samarthan believes in alliance building with national and international organisations. We are associated with Society of Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), New Delhi as a network member for promoting participatory process in the state of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Samarthan is also an active member of Voluntary Action Network in India (VANI), New Delhi a membership organisation promoting and protecting interest of voluntarism in India. Three well-recognised NGOs of India in which Samarthan is one of the members constitute the National Social Watch Coalition. Social Watch Coalition primarily works towards seeking accountability from the core institutions of Governance viz. parliament, judiciary, executive and local self-governance institutions.
Over the last five years, Samarthan has promoted and supported the establishment of a state level network of Panchayat representatives “Madhya Pradesh Panchayati Raj Masangh” in Madhya Pradesh. The network has a membership base of more than 2000 elected representatives from PRIs spread over 20 districts of the state. Madhya Pradesh underwent Panchayat election in January 2010 following which the Panchayati Raj Mahasangh focused on developing a strategy for strengthening the network and elected a new state level executive committee. At the district level the network was instrumental in developing a constructive dialogue with the district administration with the help of the local civil society. This will ensure better governance of the schemes and better utilisation of resources.
Civil Society Organization Network
Since its inception, Samarthan has been committed to strengthening civil society groups for making governance accountable and transparent. In four clusters of districts of Madhya Pradesh, an informal network of organizations has been formed on the issues of NREGS / NRHM implementation and Social Security Schemes. Twenty organisations from 12 districts are a part of this informal network. Samarthan built the capacity of these organisations to work on formation of Village Health and Sanitation Committees, orientation of the VHSC members, preparation of Village Health plan and demanding untied funds under NRHM.
In Jabalpur the NGOs and citizen leaders from intervened wards have come together and formed the Deen Bandhu Seva Sangathan. The network has pledged to work for the underprivileged in the slum settlements of Jabalpur Municipal Corporation. During the year, the network also sent a memorandum to the Chief Minister to bring to his notice the issues in the implementation of social security scheme.
Samarthan is a member of Madhya Van, a network of Voluntary Development Organisations of Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Van was constituted in the year 2007 with an aim to:
- Lay down guiding principles for improving quality of Voluntary Organization’s (VO) effort
- Encourage and enhance VOs’ engagement with Governments and donors by developing conductive policy and legal framework
- Act as a platform for experience sharing; propagate models of ideal society
- Act as pressure group to intervene against poor deal meted out to VOs
- Strengthen regional level and issue based networking process
- Be a collective of organizations with similar views, show solidarity at international, national and local level
Wada Na Todo Abhiyann
Wada Na Todo Abhiyan is a national campaign to hold the government accountable to its promise, to end poverty, social exclusion and discrimination. In Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Van worked jointly with Srajan Lokhit Samiti to campaign in the 20 most remote and poor districts of the state. Campaign partners organised Rallies, Padyatra, Public Meetings, Human Chain and Media Workshops to make people aware of their rights and entitlements and put pressure on government and political leaders for fulfilment of Millennium development goals.