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South Asian Regional Conference on Violence Against Women In Politics [October, 2010]

Home » Introduction » Stakeholders

Poor and Marginalized Communities

The poor, the marginalized and socially excluded namely the Dalits, women, children, ethnic minorities and the aged are the primary stakeholders in the process of social transformation, economic development and governance. But they are denied of the primary space in all these aspects. In all the South Asian countries the NGOs, both development and activist-oriented, are engaged in organizing the poor and marginalized into grassroots community-based organizations to assert their rights, to strengthen livelihoods and improve their quality of life. Self-help development through processes like Self Help Group (SHG) based micro finance activities have gained universal acceptance now. Much wider coming together of CBOs is necessary to make the voice of the poor directly heard. Through CBOs effective participation of the poor and marginalized in governance, starting from local level has to be ensured.

Civil Society
The civil society in all South Asian countries represent a vibrant, dynamic and active actor involved in grassroots development & empowerment work, in building people's institutions for self-reliance, in facilitating networking, alliance and platform building and citizens' activism and policy advocacy. But the lack of convergence and complementarity, isolation and scatteredness, lack of proper perspectives and strategies have come in the way of using the fullest potential to advocate the case of poor & marginalized, make their voice heard in the respective countries, region and global forums effectively.

The governments in each country are the biggest development agencies but lack sensitivities to grassroots realities and peoples' needs. Gradually, there is a realization of the need to involve NGOs in development work but inflexibility, corruption and high level of bureaucratic approach makes it difficult for genuine NGOs to collaborate. Therefore, ensuring good governance at different levels is an imperative and urgent need.

Corporate Sector
Corporate sector is now entering in a big way to invest into social development of the poor. With the insistence of the State and the grassroots institutions of the poor, the corporate sector has now started parting away with a small portion of their huge profits reflecting "Corporate Philanthropy" and "Corporate Social Responsibility". Like with government, working with corporate sector provides opportunities and threats (of losing autonomy and own identity). Working with Corporate Sector like software companies do not pose a dilemma for NGOs unlike with those who do not follow fair production and trade practices as well as those who contribute to environment hazards which is contradictory to the objectives for which NGOs work.

Strategic Plan | Stakeholders

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