Special Correspondent

Experts address a dialogue on “Civic-driven changes” organised in Jaipur

Organised by Context International Cooperation of the Netherlands with CECOEDECON

JAIPUR: Development experts addressing a dialogue here on “Civic-driven changes” have called for expansion of confluence and convergence spheres to facilitate community involvement for lasting social changes in Rajasthan.

The day-long dialogue was organised by Context International Cooperation of the Netherlands in association with the Jaipur-based Centre for Community Economics and Development Consultants’ Society (CECOEDECON). Over 40 representatives of civil society organisations attended the dialogue. Noted economist V.S. Vyas said civic-driven initiatives had an immense potential for providing a different perspective to development when the State and the market had “abdicated their responsibility” for improving the lot of people.

Prof. Vyas said the interface and exchange of knowledge and information among academicians, development practitioners and non-government organisations should be promoted to make civic-driven changes acceptable in society.

Introducing the concept, the Dutch experts said civic-driven changes were aimed at reducing the dependence on development aid and even the government. Prof. Vyas said the reliance on local resources and action would ensure sustainable changes.

Dutch development practitioner Fons Van der Valden said the Institute of Social Studies in his country had recently set up an international civic-driven change think tank at The Hague.

Context International consultant Udan Fernando threw light on global experiences vis-À-vis civic-driven changes and pointed out that the Context had launched a centre for development practice and civic-driven child development.

Educationist and Gandhian thinker Pratibha Jain underlined the need to redefine community-driven initiatives in the wake of failure of the State, corporate sector, academicians, researchers and NGOs to provide solutions to the people facing difficulties in all walks of life.

CECOEDECON secretary Sharad Joshi said the civic-driven changes, as a relatively new concept, were facing resistance in States like Rajasthan because of their focus on modifications in approaches and methodologies to deal with the issues of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, social unrest and conflicts.

The participants felt that civic-driven changes should incorporate the local contexts in their nuances to enable people to adapt to the concept and optimise their contribution. A consensus emerged in favour of diversification of approaches to bring about changes to meet people’s aspirations.