Our newsletter

Holistic Approach to Women's Health

The term 'Family Planning' was initially coined by Margaret Sanger to indicate 'to have babies by choice and not by chance', in her pioneering social work promoting use of contraceptives in the slum population of Harlem, New York in the early twentieth century (Srinivasan, 2014). In India, it was in the All India Women's Conference in 1935 held at Thiruvanthapuram, where it was resolved to champion modern methods of contraception as a part of women's right to have babies by choice and not by chance.

Role of Grassroots Communication in Livelihood Campaign

Communication for development has emerged as an integral part of the development process. It is about engagement where all the participants are key members in the development process and not mere spectators. Communication for development works on two approaches - 'communication for results' and 'communication of results'.

Entrepreneurship for a Green Economy

Veer Singh Rajput is a 43 year old entrepreneur from Ganeshgarh, Jhansi who used his experience of working with technical institutes and organic farming centers to set up a vermi-compost production centre in his village. Within a few years, most people in the village started buying their compost from him and he successfully enabled the entire village to farm organically. In the local market he is known for the quality of his product, and has the Indian Railways and Forest Department among his clientele. He has become a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs, while demonstrating that profits can be made by caring for nature.

Climate Change Narratives by Grassroot Communities

Over the last few years, discussions on climate change in many global, national and state level summits and conferences have mostly been around what the experts understand and believe. Understanding of climate change from communities’ angles and perspectives has been somewhat limited. Climate Outreach, CANSA and other civil society organisations like Development Alternatives have done a collaborative research on the topic and tried to create an understanding about climate change through the narrative of climate affected communities in rural Bundelkhand in Central India. The drought prone Bundelkhand region comprising of 13 districts in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh is one of the most climate vulnerable areas in India. The participants in the two workshops were mostly farmers and all were men of varied age groups and low levels of education. The sessions were conducted in Hindi.

Creating Low Carbon Communities through Behaviour Change

It is now well understood that the most viable alternative to reduce the CO2 impact of cement (and therefore, concrete) is the use of supplementary cementing materials (SCMs). The reduction in clinker factor of cement can also prolong the life of limestone reserves, making it possible to continue using cement as a major binding material for concrete...

Creating Low Carbon Communities through Behaviour Change

Community-led approaches stimulating individual and collective energy action have emerged as an alternative route for realising reductions in energy demand, through changes in people's understanding and behaviours related to energy consumption and generation. Much social and environmental psychological research has been undertaken on how domestic energy behaviours can be influenced in order to reduce energy consumption.

Scaling Up Mechanisms for Entrepreneurship

Micro enterprises are engines that boost job creation and fuel equitable economic development. However, despite their crucial role as enablers of improved local capacities and jobs, their growth is limited owing to lack of a nurturing ecosystem. Dialogue with rural communities and local stakeholders over the past few years, has revealed the unmet demand of support services for setting up and improving micro enterprises.

Managing our Natural Resources for the Benefit of All

To achieve a sustainable future, the world clearly has two priorities that must come before all others. The first is to ensure that all citizens have access to the means of satisfying their basic needs. The second is to evolve practices that bring the environmental resource base on which their lives and future integrally depend, back to its full health and potential productivity. To achieve these two primary goals requires urgent action on two fronts.

Potential Game Changers in Skill Development

India is going through a major transition. We are enthusiastically on our way to becoming an informed nation: knowledge-based economy. A knowledge based economy requires a new generation of educated and skilled people. The current government's 'Skill India Initiative', might indicate that we as a nation have embarked our journey on the correct path but there are still many speed breakers.

Waste to Wealth Special

Effects on the environment: Waste results in accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) primarily Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) which are responsible for global warming and climate change. CO2 is released into the atmosphere by the burning of solid waste. CH4 is emitted from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills. NO2 is emitted during combustion of solid waste. Rising global temperatures are expected to raise sea levels and change precipitation and other local climate conditions. Scientists predict that there is likely to be an overall trend towards increased precipitation and evaporation, more intense rainstorms and drier soil. Changing regional climates are expected to alter forests, crop yields and water supplies.

Technology and Innovation for Sustainability

Since the first major international conference was convened to address issues concerning the environmental and sustainable development in Stockholm, Sweden, 1972, titled, ‘United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, the world has come a long way in understanding climate change and its consequences, global consumption patterns and the bio-capacity of its natural resources etc. The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, a report which was undertaken for the Government of the United Kingdom, argued that the cost of transitioning to a low carbon economy would be much less than the costs and risks of the impact of unmitigated climate change if high technologies and practices were to continue to dominate systems for energy provision (Stern, 2007).

Waste Management and Climate Change Special

The global ideological shift and the economic crises that we have recently faced combined together have almost side lined the pertinent topic of climate change. Commitments made by various nations for the Paris Climate Agreement fall short. The world political scenario is dominated by governments who only believe in incremental goals. At the policy level, financial pressures usually take precedence over environmental concerns. However, what is not being realised is that planned and more futuristic investments can address both issues for a more cost and resource effective approach.

March 2017 : Women Empowerment Special

Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential for building stronger economies, achieving internationally agreed goals for development and improving the quality of life for families and communities. The empowerment of women is often identified as an important aim of international development policies and many donor agencies now include women’s empowerment in their development plans and strategies. Although empowerment is often conceptualised as a process (Cueva Beteta 2006)1, most quantitative studies have been cross-sectional, comparing individual women with others in their communities or societies (Malhotra and Schuler 2005)2.

February 2017: World Radio Day Special

Community Radio in India was envisioned as the third tier of broadcasting in the country, to be owned and operated by communities across India. The policy for the sector was framed in 2001 after much debate and engagement with the government by civil society organisations. While initially the policy only allowed educational institutions to apply for licenses, a revised policy guideline was issued in 2006 that allowed civil society organisations to also apply for a licence to operate a community radio station.

January 2017:Transitioning towards Sustainability

The exchange of goods and services amongst people represents the economy as we know it today. However, we know that these transactions draw upon resources in the natural system represented by exchanges between people and nature. This heavily influences interactions within the natural system impacting the capacities of the natural system to be drawn upon. The ultimate objective of all economic transactions is to enhance ‘the real wealth of society’ measured by the quality and health of the five capitals – physical, social, human, financial and natural. We therefore need to understand whether or not the economic strategies and solutions that we employ add value to or enhance the fundamental capitals.

Sustainable Agriculture

Climate change and global warming are emerging as major challenges facing agriculture in India and elsewhere. In future, these challenges will further accelerate and the resource-poor communities in India and other developing countries, least responsible for global warming, will be the worst affected by it unless urgent actions are undertaken to help them adapt and cope with its unavoidable consequences.

Act Now