Over the years urban residents have become immune to living with overflowing garbage in their backyards, arduous commutes to their workplaces, shabby housing and minimal social or cultural outlets. These day-to-day travails point to a deeper malaise within our cities – that of poorly-resourced city governments and badly managed cities.
It is time to move the lens away from the challenges that we encounter and delve deep into the systemic shortfalls that lie at the root of these inefficiencies. At Janaagraha, we believe that cities should be viewed through a structural construct that we refer to as the City-Systems framework. Depicted through a metamorphosing butterfly with four wings, the City-Systems framework defines four significant aspects of urban transformation – Urban Planning & Design; Urban Capacities & Resources; Empowered & Legitimate Political Representation and Transparency, Accountability & Participation. We believe that fixing India’s City-Systems is crucial to fixing our cities and consequently improving the Quality of Life for our citizens.
Four dimensions of our City Systems
Systemic interventions and the ‘three Ps’ to scale
Janaagraha does not run ‘one-off’ direct interventions. It runs initiatives that can be replicated, scaled, and adopted from the grassroots to government levels throughout India, through Partnerships, Platforms, and Policy reform.
Janaagraha’s work addresses four dimensions of our City Systems Framework for better cities.
These dimensions are reflected in whole, or in part, in all the world’s great cities.
Our work on reforms in Municipal Finance is undertaken under P.R.O.O.F (Public Record of Operations and Finance).
PROOF works with governments on performance reporting and financial accountability of urban service providers, and with citizens to catalyse citizen engagement on city finances, more specifically on city budgets.
Transforming Quality of Life in India’s cities and towns requires better civic services and infrastructure. To achieve this, urban service providers such as municipal corporations, water supply boards and transport corporations need to ensure that monies are targeted at achieving maximum possible citizen outcomes. Accountability on value for money expenditure must be predicated on performance metrics, transparency and disclosures, and citizen engagement on the same. Since 2013, PROOF publishes Budget Briefs to empower citizens with information and analysis on budgetary allocations for each Assembly Constituency and Ward. It has also been advocating for the development of a standardized Performance Reporting Framework for Urban Local Bodies with the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
Our work on Municipal Staffing is based on a tool that we are evolving called Destination Organisation Chart.
DOC is a tool to fix the organisation chart of a municipality based on its target service levels, workflows and operational units so as to ensure it has adequate number of skilled staff to deliver high quality public services. It aims to solve the quality and quantity problem faced by local bodies with respect to municipal staffing.
DOC provides a roadmap for resolving the staffing needs of municipalities and identifying the process improvements required to yield better performance of the organization as a whole. Requisite skill-sets are defined against individual job descriptions, assessing the optimum number of employees required, and recommending reforms required for bolstering the performance of Urban Local Bodies.
Chief Executive Officer
In his role as Chief Executive Officer, Srikanth works closely with the Board of Trustees and Governing Board in drawing up Janaagraha’s strategy and maintains oversight over Janaagraha’s day to day operations. Prior to this role. Srikanth was Coordinator-Advocacy and Reforms covering Janaagraha’s city-systems reform initiatives.
Srikanth is an Associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and prior to Janaagraha worked with Standard Chartered Bank and KPMG.
Senior Manager - Advocacy
Anil Nair joins us as Senior Manager- Advocacy in the ARC team. He worked in PRS Legislative Research, a legislative research organisation which provides research support to Members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies. At PRS, he was responsible for the MLA outreach program - establishing relationships with state legislators and legislatures in order to provide legislative research services.
Anil also had sales stints in Consumer Goods and Financial Services. He also spent a couple of years managing AIDS awareness program for truck drivers as part of the Bill and contributed to the Melinda Gates Avahan initiative. He has an MBA from IIM Calcutta and holds an engineering degree from VJTI in Mumbai.
All his free time is taken up by his daughters, Keya and Uttara!
Ajesh A Nair
Senior Associate - Advocacy
Ajesh is Senior Associate- Advocacy in the ARC team. He is a management professional and works on ASICS and other initiatives on stakeholder engagement. He worked in SERP- Andhra Pradesh, a rural development programme of the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh. At SERP he handled World Bank, CGAP projects among other State level projects and it’s monitoring.
Prior to SERP, he has experience in Govt. sector consulting. He is a MBA from Institute of Rural Management Anand(IRMA) and holds an engineering degree from CET in Thiruvananthapuram.
In his free time, he likes to travel, hike and occasionally joins for sports.
Senior Associate - P.R.O.O.F
Kartika Nair joins us as Senior Associate-PROOF in the ARC team. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant. Being an army kid, she has had the chance to move around quite a bit in the country which turns out just fine as she loves travelling.
Her hobbies are reading and watching movies.
Senior Associate - P.R.O.O.F
Manish Jain joins us as Senior Associate- P.R.O.O.F in the ARC team.
He is a qualified Chartered Accountant from Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan. He has done his schooling and post-graduation from Rajasthan. He has completed his CA article ship/ training from New Delhi and for the past year was working as an Officer-Audits with M/s Suresh Surana & Associates, LLP, Chartered Accountants, Mumbai.
His hobbies are watching movies, playing cricket, badminton and volleyball, listening to music, reading books and traveling.
Associate - Advocacy
Vachana joins us as Associate- Advocacy in the ARC team. She has completed BA in Economics from St. Teresa’s college and MA in Development from Azim Premji University, Bangalore.
Prior to this, she has interned with Manipal University, Tata Institute etc.
Her hobbies are reading fiction novels, listening to music and travelling.
Manager - PROOF
Bharathy Jayaprakash has joined us as Manager - PROOF in the Advocacy team. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Cost Accountant, with 12 years of work experience. She has worked with Deloitte, the Audit Office of New South Wales (Sydney), Amba Research, Dawn Consulting and Infosys.
Bharathy’s expertise lies in Auditing, Accounting, Equity Research and Valuation. Very interested in giving back to society, she is a part of citizen-led social initiatives like The Ugly Indian and Friends of Lakes. She enjoys reading, cooking, swimming, running and cycling.
Senior Associate - Advocacy
A Civil Engineer by education, Neethu has worked for thermal power plants, designing water retaining structures. She later joined the Young India Fellowship where she was exposed to interdisciplinary learning.
She has completed her Post Graduate Diploma in Liberal studies and hopes to explore her keen in interest in urban governance by working with Janaagraha.
Music, travel, History and good food keep Neethu happy!
Associate Manager - Advocacy
Ankita Nayak graduated out of Law School in 2011. After a brief stint of 2 years at Corporate Law. She was a Teach For India Fellow 2013-15, post which she worked in Teach For India, Hyderabad to strengthen the Advocacy piece for the organization. Currently joins Janaagraha as Associate-Manager, Advocacy.
Beyond her working hours , Ankita likes to spend her time to delve deeper on gender based issues.