About  > Theory of Change

Theory of Change

A philosophy two
decades in the making

There are multiple challenges that afflict our cities – from potholes and pollution to inefficient waste management and poor infrastructure.

To resolve them conclusively, we must recognise them as symptoms of a bigger problem: poorly designed, ineffectual city systems.

train-mob

Addressing root causes to resolve recurrent challenges

City-systems refer to the government machinery that delivers services and infrastructure. This includes laws, policies, institutions, processes, capacities, and frameworks.

It is a holistic way of thinking about cities and a sustainable way to address the problems they face.

train-desk

Addressing root causes to resolve recurrent challenges

City-systems refer to the government machinery that delivers services and infrastructure. This includes laws, policies, institutions, processes, capacities, and frameworks.

It is a holistic way of thinking about cities and a sustainable way to address the problems they face.

Governance
determines quality of life

A city’s health can be transformed by four interrelated components:

01

Urban planning and design

Towards cities that address the needs of different demographics through inclusive, mindful design.

02

Urban capacities and resources

Strengthening government capacities and enhancing resources through training, process improvements, and technology.

03

Empowered and legitimate political representation

Improving voter participation and empowering elected representatives with information and tools to impact local governance.

04

Transparency, accountability, and participation

Activating citizen participation and enhancing transparency and accountability in governance.

women-with-child

A puzzle with many moving parts

Of the several factors that determine urban quality of life, we have sharpened our focus on the four interrelated aspects of:

01 Public Health 
02 Environment  
03 Women 
04 Urban Poor

Bringing City-Systems Alive

Working at the intersections of environment, public health, women, and the urban poor allows us to affect real, tangible change. Change that has a ripple effect across city-systems and demographics.

A focus on women and the urban poor translates into inclusive, improved infrastructure and services for all. Efforts to better the environment can lead to better public health.

These outputs and outcomes serve as encouraging proof of concepts for the way forward.

We approach urban governance reform through:

01

Civic Participation

Making it easier for citizens to actively engage and participate in the governance of their neighbourhoods and cities.

02

City Finance

Improving financial sustainability and accountability of cities.

03

Urban Policy and Research

Reforming city-systems and strengthening state capacities.

01

02

03

Civic Participation

Making it easier for citizens to actively engage and participate in the governance of their neighbourhoods and cities.

City Finance

Improving financial sustainability and accountability of cities.

Urban Policy and Research

Reforming city-systems and strengthening state capacities.

Journey

Janaagraha was founded in December 2001 by Swati and Ramesh Ramanathan. The duo’s contrasting experiences as citizens in Indian and global cities inspired them to pioneer citizen participation and urban governance reforms in India.

couple

Journey

Janaagraha was founded in December 2001 by Swati and Ramesh Ramanathan. The duo’s contrasting experiences as citizens in Indian and global cities inspired them to pioneer citizen participation and urban governance reforms in India.

couple
celebration

Collaborative Action for Collective Good

Access Resources

Facilitate change at the neighbourhood level.

Partner

Channel efforts and resources towards shared goals.

Join

Become a part of the Janaagraha movement.