Swati and Ramesh Ramanathan, Co-founders of the Jana Group which is a four fold entity aimed at urban transformation in India. Around two decades back, they came back to India from the United States where both had flourishing careers in banking and urban design. Quality of life and citizenship in America inspired them to work with people and governments back home to improve quality of life in Indian cities. All the four initiatives are directed to transform India’s cities and towns- One, Jana Urban Space Foundation a non-partisan, not-for-profit trust working on the core premise that urban planning and design are central to shaping vibrant cities, thus enhancing quality of life; Two, Janalakshmi Financial Services, a for-profit Non-Banking Financial Company serving the urban undeserved;
Three, Janaadhar, a company that offers budget homes in a well-planned, secure, self-contained township aiming to foster inclusiveness; Four, Janaagraha, a non-profit organisation which works with citizens and the government to improve quality of life in urban India. Swati is one of India’s leading voices on addressing India’s challenges related to urbanisation and civic change. She serves on several state and national government committees related to urbanisation, and has authored seminal policy documents on the subject. She is the author of “National Urban Spatial Planning and Development (NUSPD) Guidelines” for planning India’s cities, at the best of the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India. In 2013, Ms Ramanathan was the Co-Convener of the Urban Planning Group for the Planning Commission’s 12th Five Year Plan.
Swati’s work on Urban Design standards for city roads (Tender SURE – Specifications for Urban Road Execution) have been adopted as the standard in many states as well as the national level. Ms Ramanathan holds a BS from India, and an MS from Pratt Institute, N.Y. Prior to her return to India in 1998, Ms Ramanathan worked in senior positions in some of the world’s leading architecture and design firms. She has received several recognitions for her work, including being named
a Young Asian Leader by the Asia Society, by the Government of Rajasthan with the state’s highest civilian award (Rajyotsava Puraskar), by Forbes India as Social Entrepreneur of the Year, and by the National Democratic
Institute in Washinton DC, with the Democracy and Civic Innovator Award for the use of social media and mobile and internet technology for civic participation with
Ramesh works closely with government on urban issues in a pro-bono capacity. He was the National Technical Advisor, Government of India for the Jawarharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, the country's flagship urban mission, and is on the Chief Minister’s Advisory Council to the Government of Rajasthan. Prior to his social initiatives, Ramesh held leadership positions with Citibank in New York and London, in the bank’s capital markets business. Ramesh has an MS in Physics from BITS Pilani, an MBA from Yale University and a CFA from AIMR. In 2007, he was chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Message From the CEO Srikanth Viswanathan
I am delighted to share with you Janaagraha’s Annual Report for 2016-17. FY 2016-17 was a hugely eventful year for us, across all three of our programs, Civic Learning, Civic Participation and Advocacy and Reforms.
Our Civic Learning program touched close to 40,000 students in 536 schools across 25 cities. A monitoring and evaluation study revealed a 14% upside in civic learning among students covered by the program. We are now excited to explore a national digital platform for civic learning which can massively scale civic learning in our cities first among school students and eventually among college youth and corporate employees. The highlight in Civic Participation was the Swachhata mobile and web application which we developed for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs based on our I Change My City (www.ichangemycity.com) suite.
Swachhata was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in August 2016 and has since witnessed over 1.3 million users who have posted over 6 million complaints with a 95% resolution rate across 1,629 cities and towns. This year Swachhata is targeting coverage of all 4,041 cities and towns. We are also excited to take our first steps in Mumbai through I Change My City. We will continue to strengthen I Change My City in Bengaluru and Mumbai through the Engineer and Councillor mobile apps, and the Ward Sabha meeting app. Our work on Advocacy and Reforms, across both the Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS) and Municipal Finance made brisk progress. While ASICS 2015 formed the mainstay of the chapter on cities in the Economic Survey 2017-18 titled “From Competitive Federalism to Competitive Sub-Federalism: Cities as Dynamos".
Our work in Municipal Finance in Rajasthan delivered strongly in 2016-17. Today, for the first time, over 150 out of the 188 ULBs in Rajasthan have completed their audited annual accounts for FY 2014-15 and over 130 ULBs for FY 2015-16. We are in conversations with several states for scaling up the Rajasthan model. These are just the highlights! We have provided further details of our work and impact in 2016-17 in this Annual Report. We hope you are able to take time out to go through the same and write back to us with any feedback or questions. Thank you for all your support and encouragement in 2016-17!
Big Goals for 2017-18
Engaging One Million Citizens in Bengaluru & Mumbai
Big Goals for 2019-2020
- Digitally activate and engage 10 million citizens in 20 cities to spread the message of Active Citizenship; engage 2 million citizens in Bengaluru
- Be recognised as the go-to organisation on Active Citizenship and city-systems reforms in India; enlist 20 opinion leaders as city-systems champions
- Implement Municipal Finance reforms in 5 states
- Be among the 20 Best non-profit organizations to work for in India
ABOUT BALA JANAAGRAHA
In 2002, we set sail to Bala Janaagraha, one of our flagship initiatives for Civic Learning. We believe that children are the future of democracies and investing in them to ensure that they develop complete understanding of their roles as future citizens of the country is of utmost importance.
Bala Janaagraha offers a unique combination of class-room based learning sessions and hands-on practical exposure to resolving local civic issues in cities. We have reached 1,85,000 students in India till date.
We have focussed on making curriculum delivery more effective:
In all these years, we have consistently devoted time to introspect and revisit the resource book used for curriculum delivery, the I Change My City Resource Book. We have regularly updated content of the book to include contemporary civic issues. This makes it easier for children to relate and identify to the subject. We have also taken to more visually appealing forms and styles of presenting content to be able to engage with children effectively. One of the most important steps taken to increase the impact of the curriculum is to introduce the resource book in vernacular languages. This came as a suggestion from schools that follow vernacular mode of instruction. Availability of books in hindi, telugu, malayalam and kanada has impacted learning outcomes positively.
This year 36,197 students participated in 1800 Civic Projects from across the country
Civic Projects are an integral part of the Bala Janaagraha curriculum. It has gained popularity among students and has been recognised by school authorities as a well meaning initiative. Civic Projects require students to choose a civic issue that affects them (their school or community at large), discuss and come up with a practical and sustainable action plans to implement the same. This also means that students meet local civic authorities/agencies, citizen groups, other stakeholders to garner their support on addressing the issue. This practical exposure builds critical thinking in students and helps them to work as a team, strengthen communication skills, self-confidence and enables them to better the city where they live.
A group of students from BVB Vidyashram visited the Chief Minister's office and met Ms. Vasundhara Raje. Ms. Raje was very impressed with the project and interacted with the students. She took to twitter to express her appreciation for the hard work the students have put in.
Doon Valley School, Lucknow declared the national champions at the National Civic Fest 2016-17
The Doon Valley School was declared as the national champions by an esteemed panel of judges including Rudramuni B, Executive Director, Head of Dell India R&D and Mala Ramadorai, acclaimed musician & educationalist and Manjunath Prasad, Municipal Commissioner of Bengaluru as the cheif guest. Among all the four Civic Projects presented by the finalists at the National Civic Fest held in Bengaluru, Doon Valley School from Lucknow really impressed the judges with their practical approach to resolve civic issue by directly reaching out to local authorities and making best use of other potential channels like social media, on-ground awareness of citizen groups.
Bala Janaagrahis who went an extra mile were felicitated as Young Champions of Change
We have often come across students who have shown extra ordinary streaks of wanting to bring change in their neighbourhoods by taking ownership of issues affecting them. Their initiatives bear testimony to our belief in the role of civic learning as a catalyst of active citizenship. We are proud of them! Every year we felicitate such students (who are either from an existing batch of Bala Janaagraha curriculum or from an earlier batch) at the National Civic Fest.
We have conducted trainings for our trainers and volunteers
Being spread across cities, we make it a point to bring all the key resources who are responsible for the delivery of the curriculum at one place annually. This year we conducted a three-day centralised training for all 59 Facilitators who deliver the curricullum across 25 cities. The Training was conducted by The Teacher Foundation to help us orient all our resources to the pedagogy of the program.
Bala Janaagraha has a strong base of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers who support us with their time and expertise. This year 39 Bala Janaagraha Mitras, rightly called so, were also called for an orientation to the program.
Having started with 1 school in Bengaluru in 2002, Bala Janaagraha has slowly but steadily grown in the past few years reaching out to 36,917 students in 25 cities in FY 2016-17. Based on consistent and encouraging outcomes observed in Civic Literacy in students, we now plan to build a comprehensive roadmap to advocate for the inclusion of civic literacy as a part of core curriculum at schools. We aim to advocate for incorporation of the curriculum in the State and Union Education Syllabi by 2020.
ABOUT I CHANGE MY CITY
Launched in 2012, I Change My City (ICMyC) is one of largest civic technology platforms today. ICMyC enables large scale social change through various online and on-ground initiatives for citizen participation in urban governance. The platform brings citizens, community communities like resident welfare associations, elected representatives and civic agencies together to ensure that public service delivery standards are maintained through continuous dialogue between citizens and the government. As a Citizen to Government (C2G) initiative, it addresses the lack of three aspects in governance: transparency, accountability and participation.
Launch of I Change My City in Mumbai
Owing to the popularity and success of ICMyC in Bengaluru, we have recently launched the platform in Mumbai in association with Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Credit Suisse and Tata Consultancy Services. ICMyC has marked its presence in Mumbai through a series of activities ranging from beach clean-ups, marathons, awareness sessions at Corporate offices on voter registration procedures for the Mumbai Municipal Corporation, meetings with representatives of Resident Welfare Associations.
On this note, ICMyC organised a 'Walk for Change'- marathon for employees of Credit Suisse on 1st April 2017 in Mumbai. The core intent of the initiative was to drive the importance of active citizenship and call out for responsible consumption of water. We invited Mr. Sitaram Shelar, a prominent water rights activist in Mumbai and is the Co-convener of Maharashtra Committee for the People Centric Water Policy to share important facts on water and how responsible use of water in our day to day activities can save a lot of the valuable resource.
Swacchata Mobile and Web applications developed by ICMyC
Swachhata mobile and web applications have been developed by ICMyC for the Swacch Bharat Mission as per our MoU with the Ministry of Urban Development. The application was launched in August 2016 by the Honourable Union Minister of Urban Development, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu. It has three interfaces to cater to different audiences- for citizens, civic agency officials and nodal officers. We have engaged extensively with civic agency officials across 19 cities to impart training on the different features of the application in order to optimise usability and impact. We have also developed a dashboard that measures critical data assessed for a cities ranking in the Swachh Survekshan Survey conducted across 500 cities. It is made available for all citizens to see the current city rankings and details related to their cities of interest.
Successes of Swachhata App
By February '17 1 million citizens became registered users of Swacchata App
mBillionth Award 2017 by Digital Empowerment Foundation
Swachhata App won the mBillionth Award 2017 by Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) in the category Government and Citizenship Participation. The industry – driven and peer – acknowledged mBillionth Award recognised mobile phone-based interventions and innovations in the area of telecom from across eight countries in South Asia. With the user base of 6.2 million citizens and growing popularity among civic agencies across the country, Swachhata application is being recognised as a benchmark for people-oriented innovations in the telecom industry.
"Swachhata App" has been judged as one of the 41 Gems of Digital India
41 Gems of Digital India are innovative initiatives that are set to change the way governance is delivered and are among the crème de la crème of eGovernance Initiatives that innovatively use technology to solve myriad of problems of governance.
Swachhata: Citizen Experiences
What's really encouraging us are the stories of impact coming in from different parts of the country. Here are the experiences of citizens like Varun Gampa and Prithwiraj of getting complaints resolved using Swacchata app.
CHALLENGES & LEARNINGS
Gaining ground in Mumbai
With the launch of I Change My City in Mumbai this year, we have been exploring ways of connecting with the new audience, civic agencies, civic issues specific to the new geography and varied levels of citizen interest and participation to resolve the issues. Towards this, we are constantly working towards innovation in the features that our civic technology platform offers to citizens. We are engaging with corporate employees to understand citizen opinion on local civic issues, their approach to resolving these issues and spread values of active citizenship through platforms like I Change My City.
CHALLENGES & LEARNINGS
Managing the varied user base on Swacchata App
Developing the technology platform for Swacch Bharat Mission has brought to us key learnings that will inspire our approach towards building civic technology platforms going forward. Our experience of building Swacchata application that caters to citizens, municipal corporations, senior government officials has taken us closer to exploring ways to improvise the product to suit all users. We constantly seek feedback from various stakeholders to enhance user experience.
- 2000 municipal engineers have been trained to use the Swachhata app, who in turn will train other agency officials in their respective cities.
- We have a call centre to resolve technical glitches faced by municipal engineers
- The product has been enhanced around 15 times based on feedback/suggestions received from various stakeholders
Janaagraha intends to manage the IChangeMyCity as a brand, while continuing to partner with Government agencies across the country through white labelled Apps such as "Public Eye" and "Swachhata Solutions". We intend to deliver the message of Active Citizenship to 10 million citizens by 2020. This will be done through mediums like digital platforms and on-ground campaigns on diverse neighbourhood issues such as safety and security, elections, ward sabhas and active citizenship awareness modules.
- Use a hybrid model of on-ground civic campaigns on neighbourhood safety, participatory budgeting (MyCityMyBudget) and voter registrations
- Establish the I Change My City brand in Mumbai through Active Citizenship Programs on digital, corporate and college communities
- Launch I Change My City in 20 cities
ABOUT COMMUNITY POLICING
Community Policing was launched in 2013 by the Bengaluru City Police, in association with Janaagraha to address safety security challenges in the city through police-citizen collaboration. Being piloted in 7 police stations, Community Policing is currently operational in 15 police stations across Bengaluru.
Community Policing reached scores of Bengalureans to spread awareness on Crime Prevention
As a part of Community Policing, the Bengaluru City Police in association with Janaagraha conducted Crime Prevention Drives throughout the month of December. A bike rally and a marathon was held to bring together citizens, Area Suraksha Mitras (citizen volunteers for Community Policing) and the Police to create awareness about crime, safety and security concerns in cities and simple ways to prevent crime. Events like these significantly bring citizens and police closer, inducing a spirit of mutual trust and cooperation to foster safer neighbourhoods.
Run for Safety
Run for Safety Marathon was organised under the able guidance of Police Inspector Krishna KL at Jnanabharathi Police Station. The event turned into a stupendous success with participation of around 2,500 citizens. We thank Mindtree for sponsoring 500 t-shirts for the Marathon. It is gestures like these that fuels our endevours to enable civic participation. DCP – West Mr. M.N. Anucheth, IPS, who flagged off the event, quoted that it was encouraging to see the citizens coming forward to actively contribute and join hands with police to strengthen the safety of the neighbourhood.Chancellor of Bengaluru University, Prof. B.Thimme Gowda and Maj Gen K.R.Prasad, Veteran the Chief Mentor of Community Policing program, Janaagraha, Mr. V.J. Sajith – Assistant Commissioner of Police (Kengeri Sub Division) were the members present at the event.
A cycling rally called Republic Ride, was organised in association with Tilak Nagar Police Station to spread awareness on women safety witnessed the true spirit of community engagement. This rally, powered by Cycle World, Bengaluru saw the participation of ACP Yogendranath, Police Inspector Thanveer and PSI Thimmaraju along with about 90 cyclists came together to spread awareness on women safety to nearly 5000 people.
A group of police from HSR Layout Police Station, citizens came together for what was called the Parivarthan Drive. They cleaned and painted the walls of the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) Complex with significant messages and artwork spreading awareness about crime prevention and traffic rules. The event was flagged off by ACP Lakshminarayan in the presence of ACP Chowdappa, PI Victor Simon, PI Rao Ganesh, PSI Priya Paul Kumar, ASI Nagamani, ASI Balakrishna Reddy and other team members.
Subramani, a resident of Kodigehalli, attended an awareness program, organised as a part of Community Policing in the neighbourhood. As suggested in the program, he saved the contact numbers of the Area Suraksha Mitra (ASM) and the police station. On finding a lost child in his neighborhood, he contacted Mr. Prasanna, Area Surakasha Mitra of that area. The ASM and the Police worked together and reunited the child with her parents. The concept of Community Policing witnesses triumph through scores of successes like this one where informed citizens are proactively reaching out to ASM and the Police.
Community Policing envisages safer neighbourhoods in cities through citizen collaboration with police. Our goal is to advocate for Community Policing to be incorporated as a part of the Karnataka Police Act through a strategic tie-up with the State Government, by the end of 2019-20. Towards this, we are creating a roadmap to reach and engage with 9.5 lakh citizens and to take community policing to greater number police stations in the city.
About My City My Budget
In the year 2015-16, we piloted My City My Budget(MCMB), our participatory budgeting initiative in Bengaluru. The campaign mobilises citizens, ward councilors and civic agency officials at a neighbourhood level and facilitates open, structured conversations on budgets and civic works. MCMB presents data on budgets, progress on civic works with citizens at a ward/neighbourhood level. Being a relatively new concept in India unlike in countries like Brazil and USA, the primary focus of the campaign has been spreading awareness among citizens on the idea of participatory budgeting.
My City My Budget Campaign 2016-17
The campaign took off on three tracks to mobilise budget inputs from different citizen communities across the city: Ward Sabhas
(workshops for citizen communities), digital platforms and the Budget Bus - a brand new initiative this year.
As part of the campaign this year, we had a Budget Bus travel across 1500 km of Bengaluru, making 212 stops and collecting
71325 inputs from citizens.
During the launch of the campaign this year, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad, announced that apart from crowd sourcing inputs for
the budget, they would also reserve Rs. 5 crore for 20 community projects, which will receive a maximum budgetary allocation of Rs. 25 lakh each, subject to the approval of the Mayor and the city council.
My City My Budget Campaign 2016-17
The campaign took off on three tracks to mobilise budget inputs from different citizen communities across the city: Ward Sabhas (workshops for citizen communities), digital platforms and the Budget Bus - a brand new initiative this year.
As part of the campaign this year, we had a Budget Bus travel across 1500 km of Bengaluru, making 212 stops and collecting 71325 inputs from citizens.
We conducted Ward Sabhas to bring together citizen communities, along with the elected representatives of the ward and agency officials. These Ward Sabhas served as a platform for citizens to raise and discuss civic issues in their neighbourhood with civic agency authorities and elected representatives. MCMB presented relevant civic data sets to citizens through reports like Budget Analysis briefs (to be linked). Such information and data sets helped citizens put forth meaningful and data driven inputs for the city budgets and in the due course, also helped them gauge whether these inputs reflect in the city budget.
Submission of Citizens’ Budget 2017-18 Report
The consolidated report of the inputs were handed over to the Mayor of BBMP, G Padmavathi, at an event which had citizens from all over Bengaluru, members from Resident Welfare Associations, Councilors and civic agency officials. Bala Janaagraha students from various schools from the across the city attended the event.
Janaagraha envisions to enable 20% of citizens of Bengaluru to determine 20% of the municipal budgets through community participation by FY 2019-20. This would be the next step towards creating a comprehensive advocacy plan to include Participatory Budgeting as a policy reform. The key objective in 2017-18 is to reach 1 million Bengalurueans by actively engaging with elected representatives, civic agencies and citizen communities to prioritise civic projects based on citizen inputs.
This will be done through mediums like digital platforms and on-ground campaigns on diverse neighbourhood issues such as safety & security, elections, ward sabhas and active citizenship awareness modules.
ABOUT I PAID A BRIBE
Corruption is increasing the cost of legitimate transactions in India. India was placed in the 79th position out of 168 countries in the Transparency Rankings in 2016. The position has slightly improved in comparison to the past. The list was topped by New Zealand and Denmark and the higher ranked countries are distinctly more transparent in their processes, governance mechanism and citizen participation and high on integrity. The idea of I Paid a Bribe emerged in 2008 as a simple means of tracking the market price of corruption.
Corrupt Aadhar Official blacklisted:
IPAB is backed by a two member ombudsmen including Dr. Malati Das IAS, Former Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka and Dr. S T Ramesh IPS, Former DG & IG, Government of Karnataka. They investigate instances of corruption, based on bribe data sourced from Janaagraha’s website www.ipaidabribe.com to create tangible positive impact on retail or petty corruption in Karnataka by engaging with Government departments as well as heightening citizen awareness about the need to fight bribery.
Enquiry put up by the IPAB Ombudsmen to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) led to blacklisting of a corrupt Aadhar official. Further Rs. 10,000 was levied as fine on the enrolment agency by the UIDAI.
Here’s what Mr. Pronab Mohanty, Deputy Director General, Unique Identification Authority of India, Bengaluru has to say about platforms like I Paid A Bribe (IPAB). He shares how innovative technology platforms like IPAB are enabling citizens like him in fighting corruption.
Citizen grievances posted on IPAB gives city civic agencies cue to enhance transparency
Basing the nature of citizen's grievances on I Paid A Bribe, Karnataka's Sewerage Board, Bangalore Watyer Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) revisited its 'Frequently Asked Questions' to make it more informative and useful for citizens. (http://bwssb.gov.in/bwssbuat/content/faq-0)
Ravi, a resident of Arekere in Bengaluru, whose water meter was stolen, experienced many difficulties trying to get it replaced by Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). He shared his experience on IPaidABribe , stating that he was asked to pay a bribe of Rs 1000, which he did reluctantly and also that the BWSSB officials were unaware of procedure to be followed in replacing a stolen meter. He further suggested that the BWSSB should publish the procedure on the replacement of a stolen meter on their web portal so that other citizens do not face hassles, like he did. Dr. Malati Das, one of the advisors of IPAB, forwarded the complaint to the Chairman of BWSSB for redressal. BWSSB installed a water meter and now, monthly water bills are being issued regularly to Ravi. Additionally as suggested by Ravi, BWSSB incorporated information regarding the procedure to be followed to get a new water meter in place of a stolen one on the BWSSB website.
Understanding the implications of Demonitisation
Onset of demonitisation in November’16 significantly influenced the nature, number, pattern and amounts of bribes cases reported on IPAB. We are now investing time to understand the implications of demonitisation and the way it has influenced retail corruption in the country. Insights from the IPAB Ombudsmen- Dr. Malati Das and Dr. ST Ramesh and our research in collaboration of Harvard Business School are among our key efforts towards this.
I PAID A BRIBE wins Citi Tech for Integrity Audience Choice Award
One of the six demos that Citi Bank lines up across the world, the Tech for Integrity Challenge (T4I) asked technology innovators to come up with solutions in the areas of financial transactions, cyber security and addressing red tape. I Paid A Bribe won the Audience Choice Award for its citizen-driven reporting platform that keeps a tab on bribery.
CHALLENGES & LEARNING
Need to have a dialogue interface on the portal
IPAB till now had a pre-set Q&A section to cater to citizen's queries, but we felt the need to enable citizens to have a dialogue interface with IPAB Experts to raise customised queries. To cater to this, we have a new feature on the IPAB platform called “ASK EXPERTS”, was launched for citizens to interact with the IPAB Advisors - Dr. Malati Das-IAS, Former Chief Secretary and Dr. S T Ramesh-IPS, Former DG and IG, Government of Karnataka, on their queries related to corruption.
Learnings from IPAB clearly points out the complex systems and processes that citizens have to deal with to avail public services. To add to that, there is a lack of knowledge of basic laws and polices among citizens. These act as key drivers for breeding the anathema. IPAB in its current avatar will continue to monitor, manage and publish data of bribes undertaken at a department levels, to eliminate the drivers which influence corruption. IPAB is working towards strengthening its youth outreach. We will continue to leverage the Jana Mahiti Report as a tool to pursue policy reforms.
ADVOCACY & REFORMS
Advocacy and Reforms (A & R) work is focussed towards evangelising City-Systems reforms and catalysing systemic change by reaching out to and engaging with elected representatives, city administrators, bureaucrats and other key stakeholders in the urban realm with specific policy recommendations that will improve the quality of life in cities. It has been a year of strong beginnings for Advocacy. Some of our significant achievements in the areas of Citizen Participation, Municipal Finance and Reforms, Urban Development and Government Engagement are highlighted in the following sections.
Janaagraha through ICMyC will develop mobile and web-based applications for the Government of Delhi’s Moholla Sabha initiative under participatory budgeting. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Janaagraha and the Government of Delhi for implementation of participatory budgeting through 3000 Mohalla Sabhas.The app developed by Janaagraha will enable citizens to highlight issues in their neighbourhood that should be prioritised in budgetary allocations of the city.
Municipal Finance and Reforms
An MoU has been signed with the Local Self Government of Rajasthan to collaborate accounting and auditing reforms & establish Performance Management Information System in the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in Rajasthan. As of March 2017, out of 188 ULBs, the status of the audits completed for 3 years is 112 ULBs for 2013-14, 108 ULBs for 2014-15 and 57 ULBs for 2015-16.
A Civic Agency Rating brief analysing the quality of financial management of key civic agencies in Bengaluru was released in June 2016. The brief highlighted the need to maintain sharp focus on the financial management of all civic agencies and the need to publish periodic updates on the same.
Janaagraha is engaged with NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), Government of India's policy think tank to assist their Urban Development team in preparing a 15 year vision document for urban transformation in India. As part of the engagement, we also hosted Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog and shared our reform recommendation based on Janaagraha's City-Systems approach. The recommendations were very well received and will form part of the 15 year vision document.
Bengaluru Blueprint- In December 2015, we brought together stakeholders from different walks of the life to share their perspective on solving issues that mire the city of Bengaluru.
As an outcome of Janaagraha’s advocacy efforts on the need for a comprehensive Blueprint for the city with quantified goals to improve quality of life, Government of Karnataka constituted Bengaluru Blueprint Action Group.
We released 2 reports for Bengaluru Blueprint that highlight the framework created by Janaagraha in association with Bain & Co and the suggestions given by the stakeholders.
Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems: A Tool for Government Engagement
The Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS) is a diagnostic health check-up of underlying systems that are key to public service delivery and quality of life in cities. The report is designed to help city leaders pin point issues in urban governance in their cities and help them chart out a reform roadmap to make their cities more liveable.
Release of the 4th edition of the Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS)
The 4th edition of ASICS was released in New Delhi in March 2017. The report revealed lingering systemic inadequacies in urban governance that affect public service delivery and hence, quality of life. Thiruvananthapuram held on to the top position in the rankings this year, followed by Pune and Kolkata in second and third positions.
We released 2 reports for Bengaluru Blueprint that highlight the framework created by Janaagraha in association with Bain & Co and the suggestions given by the stakeholders.
Annual Conclave on Shaping India’s Urban Agenda: New Cities and Smart Cities
The 4th Annual Conclave on Shaping India’s Urban Agenda: New Cities and Smart Cities was held in New Delhi in March 2017. The conclave explored how the emerging phenomenon of new and satellite cities can drive job growth and prosperity in urban India and the mechanisms for raising capital to fund smart cities. Mr. Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO –NITI Aayog were key note speakers at the event.
As a result of Dr. Shashi Tharoor’s (Member of Parliament) participation in the conclave last year, Janaagraha collaborated with him to draft a Private Member Bill on Amendments to the 74th Amendment to the Constitution of India. The bill is aimed at empowering Urban Local Bodies in India with functional, functionary and financial devolution steered by a Mayor with executive authority and secured tenureship. The bill was introduced in Lok Sabha in the 2016 Monsoon Session of the Parliament. This bill received immense traction and revived the discussion on having empowered city leaders for Indian cities. We look forward to more of such collaborations.
Inaugural edition of the ‘V Ramachandran Awards for Excellence in Urban Decentralisation’
Janaagraha hosted the inaugural edition of the ‘V Ramachandran Awards for Excellence in Urban Decentralisation’ in New Delhi on the 2nd March 2017. The award has been instituted in the name of Padma Bhushan V Ramachandran who is one of India’s finest IAS officers and a fervent advocate of decentralisation. Mr Venkaiah Naidu, Honorable Minister for Urban Development, Government of India was the Chief Guest. For more information click here
CHALLENGES AND LEARNINGS
Mobilising funds and resources to advocate for urban issues that affect Quality of Life is quite a challenge
With the Schedule VII in Section 135 of Companies Act 2013 taking effect, most organisations are restricting their funds towards only the areas specified in the Act. Urban Governance is often not looked at as an urgent need for policy reforms. Also, in spite of the Union Government turning the focus on cities, the corporate sector even today largely directs their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds to the rural sector which is not commensurate with that available for urban issues. We reach out to philanthropies and foundations whose thrust aligns with our work and also, these foundations do not fall in the ambit of the CSR Act.
CHALLENGES AND LEARNINGS
Lack of collective action within Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)
India has a large development sector but it is mostly fragmented in its structure and efforts. Lack of adequate platforms for the CSOs to come together restrict the impact that can be achieved for a particular cause. India has a large development sector but it is mostly fragmented in nature and approach. Lack of adequate platforms for the CSOs to come together restricts the impact that can be achieved through collaborative endeavours.
Hindered advocacy efforts with the government stakeholders
Progress of dialogues for advocacy with government stakeholders often gets disrupted and delayed due to short terms served by government officials. We are catering to this challenge by engaging with multiple officials to establish multiple touch points. We are also engaging the media to maximize momentum around the issue.
The aim is to establish ‘City-Systems’ as the de-facto standard for city governance reforms.To make that possible, the program will partner with Governments in implementing reforms to laws and policies for audited balance sheets, municipal bonds, performance management , voter list management, constitutional mmendment and model municipal laws.
- Work with Bala Janaagraha program to advocate for inclusion of Civic Learning in school syllabus
- Work with Community Policing program to advocate for incorporation of Community Policing in State Police Acts.
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
Research and Insights (R&I) program operates across all the verticals and programs within the organisation. It works to aid and inform program design, monitor, evaluate and also, explore avenues where the organisation can extend its work.
Voter List Management
Our work in the area of Voter List Management (VLM) has taken many forms since it began in 2003. It started with one of urban India’s largest voter registration drives, Jaago Re! in partnership with Tata Tea to work with the Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka through an MoU to develop and implement an improved voter registration process.
Janaagraha invited by IIIDEM to hold a session on ways to strengthen the Election Commission of India’s National Electoral Role Purification (NERP) drive
A key development in 2016-17 was the invitation extended to Janaagraha by India International Institute for Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM), the Election Commission of India’s think tank, to be a part of consultations for setting their research agenda over the next 3 to 5 years. This engagement also resulted in Janaagraha submitting a proposal to pilot the introduction of hand-held networked devices for Booth Level Officers to improve voter list fidelity. As the year ended, the ECI indicated interest in partnering with Janaagraha to action our proposal.
Reports and Publications
The year 2016-17 saw the release of three reports highlighting issues in the ‘Booth Level Officer’(BLO) layer of VLM in India. Two of these, on the state of BLOs in Tamil Nadu and Trivandrum, were released right before Assembly Elections in the two states to try and maximise the impact of our messaging and found mention in the media. The third report, on the state of BLOs in Bengaluru was based on a study involving both quantitative and qualitative phases and included extensive commentary on issues that BLOs. These studies helped deepen our understanding of the issues in this crucial layer within India’s VLM machinery and have better informed our efforts to explore the role of ICT to improve the overall state of VLM.
HIGHLIGHTS MONITORING AND EVALUATION
Impact Assessment for Bala Janaagraha 2015-16
An Impact Assessment study was conducted for Bala Janaagraha on two broad parameters, Civic Literacy and Civic Participation. For FY 2015-16, Bala-Janaagraha Schools saw an increase of 14% in Civic Literacy scores compared to just 1% in Non Bala Janaagraha schools. Also, the Civic Participation levels of Bala Janaagraha Schools saw an increase of 8%; compared to 0.7% in Non Bala Janaagraha Students. To view the detailed report for the year 2015-16,
HIGHLIGHTS MONITORING AND EVALUATION
Research study with Bala Janaagraha and non Bala Janaagraha students
As part of a research study done with Bala Janaagraha and non Bala Janaagraha students, looking at how they perceive urban issues, the team published two reports on children’s views of Bengaluru.
HIGHLIGHTS MONITORING AND EVALUATION
Facilitators Assessment for 2016-17
A Facilitators Assessment Study was conducted for the Bala Janaagraha program. Facilitators are the backbone of Bala Janaagraha as they are ones who deliver the curriculum of the program. This assessment was conceptualised by the R&I team with the objective of gauging knowledge and understanding of all 59 Facilitators on the basic concepts of the curriculum.
HIGHLIGHTS CAPACITY BUILDING
Collaboration with IBM
The R&I team received an in-kind grant from IBM which includes licenses and a six day training and consultation on SPSS software statistics from a data scientist. This has enabled us to make our work processes smoother and provide deeper insights in our work.
CHALLENGES AND LEARNINGS
- One challenge we have faced is how to monitor and check data being collected by external agencies on our behalf. Our recent work interviewing Booth Level Officers for example, was being conducted in 18 cities across India, so we had a regular in-flow of data over two months. To that end, we decided to create syntax through SPSS Statistics which could be re-run every time new data came in. This syntax generated data tables and allowed the team to quickly look for inconsistencies and/or erroneous data.
- Another challenge has been more generically on data availability, ambiguity, extraction and analysis. This includes double sourcing the same data from different sources which do not match like crime statistics or voter list information. We are now giving more time to validate data sources and working with partners to extract larger data sets for analysis. Additionally, this year, the team will be setting up a data bank, collecting all data held within Janaagraha in a central place with catalogued data sources and additional information.
In addition to widening the scope of Research across all verticals and programs within the organisation, we hope to take our conversations with the Election Commission of India on our Information Communication Technology driven VLM reform agenda ahead. We plan to start the implementation of our proposal to introduce hand-held networked devices in the BLO layer of functioning to improve voter list fidelity. Going forward, another high priority agenda is to bring together ICT (Information & Communication Technology) industry champions and the ECI to start dialogues on developing solutions customised to India’s challenges. We also hope to continue to study issues in VLM focusing not just on technology, but also the human angle. We believe that the nature and scale of challenges urban India faces requires a ‘physital’ approach i.e. bringing together the best of human and technology processes.
At Janaagraha, Development works towards building the financial sustainability of the organization. Development plays a key
role in managing donor relationships, forging medium and long term partnerships with donor institutions.
The organization follows a ‘major gift’ model of fundraising which implies a smaller, deeply engaged pool of donors who make sizeable contributions and multi-year commitments. Adopting such a model was a conscious decision taken with a view of identifying and connecting with individuals, corporates foundations and philanthropies that are committed to catalysing systemic urban change in India.
Janaagraha’s current and projected portfolio of investors, therefore, includes visionary corporate leaders, strategically aligned corporates and international foundations.
Some of the significant achievements of Development are shared in the following sections.
Janaagraha’s work was supported by 33 donors during the year. Donors comprised of eminent industry leaders, corporate institutions and Foundations.
Janaagraha’s donors are visionary industry leaders and champions who are deeply aligned to the causes we represent and work for. Donor Institutions have always been equal partners in the cause by not only lending financial support, but by also, offering their skills in leadership, mentoring and personal time in this challenging journey of Urban Transformation.
Some of the notable partnerships are highlighted in the following sections.
Omidyar Network (ON) Partnership
In between 2010 to 2017, ON and Janaagraha entered into 2 three year partnerships, which concluded on 31st March, 2017. ON has invested in Janaagraha with the belief that Urban Governance and Citizen Participation requires a strong institutional framework, time tested scalable models, deep on-ground execution capacities, cutting edge technology platforms and a persistent focus on outcomes which informs policy reforms to enable transformational change.
The partnership has been pivotal in allowing Janaagraha to invest in building robust state of the art technology platforms, which are now playing a key role in taking Janaagraha’s Civic Participation initiatives nationwide.
Tata Group Partnership
Tata Sons signed a four-year, multi-crore support agreement for Janaagraha’s Bangalore operations commencing from 2012, to support scale up of our pilot programs and to support capacity building for Program Design, Planning and advocacy with the Government. The partnership has been enriching, in terms of financial investments made by the group and the access to the Group’s intellectual capital.
We are in discussions with the Group to extend the partnership to dramatically scale up our highly successful programs in the areas of Civic Learning and Civic Participation. Support from other companies in the Group such as Tata Consultancy Services and Tata Chemicals (which played a key role in our stitching a partnership with the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry) continue to strengthen our initiatives.
Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Janaagraha entered into a 3 year partnership with the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the year 2015 to formally get IChangeMyCity platform to the city of Mumbai. This partnership has aligns to the Corporate as a Citizen theme of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce under which the industry body has been promoting Good Governance and ethical conduct in business as well as public life towards the greater good of society.
Credit Suisse India
Credit Suisse has invested in Janaagraha’s Civic Learning and Civic Participation programs under their corporate citizenship theme for a period of 3 years which ends in the year 2017.
HSBC started its investments in Janaagraha’s Civic Learning Program in 2012 and over the last 5 years have been a valuable partner in supporting scaling up of the Program significantly.
Shakti Foundation has invested in Janaagraha’s policy reforms work in Municipal finance reforms which promises to play a transformational role in the area of Urban Mobility. Other interested policy reform areas in which Shakti has shown interest are Climate Change and Energy. Other key donor institutions managed by the Development team include Acacia Conservation Fund, Mindtree, Edelgive Foundation, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, The Asia Foundation, IDFC Foundation and their likes. The Development team has been successfully engaging with a small pool of donor institutions, foundations, and philanthropists striving hard to ensure donors remain invested deeply in the cause.
Janaagraha raises institutional and programme grants from its donors. As part of the organizations’ medium term strategy, it has revamped its fund raising model to ensure long term financial sustainability of the organization. The Fund raising model will be in transition mode for the coming year, comprising of Program Fund Raising and Institutional Fund Raising, with Programmes managing their fund raising and partnerships on their own.
The Development team’s objective in the way forward is to cultivate and manage ambassadors and donors who will invest in building organization capacities which are crucial in the coming years for its programmes and interventions to achieve nationwide scale.
Janaagraha receives very valuable in-kind contributions from various donors. However, for the purposes of financial reporting, we have included only software and hardware receipts, whose values have been fully certified by our auditors. For specific details of our contributions, kindly refer to ‘Notes to Accounts’ in the audited financial statements.
Note to Our Donors
Our partnership with like-minded corporates and philanthropies have been very enriching, not only in terms of their financial investments to support our work but also for the access to their immense intellectual capital. Our interactions with senior level stakeholders have greatly strengthened our capabilities to achieve the mission of Transforming the Quality of Life in India’s cities and towns. Janaagraha completed 15 years on 8th December 2016. We express our deepest gratitude to Narayan Murthy (Founder- Infosys), S D Shibulal (Co-Founder- Infosys), Dr. Mukund Rajan (Chairman-Tata Global Sustainability Council), Aniruddha Dutta (India Head, Macro Analyst, The Capital Group Companies), Amit Chandra (Managing Director, Bain Capital Private Equity), Amitabh Kant (CEO- NITI Aayog) and Shankar Venkateswaran (Chief- Tata Sustainability Group) for being ardent believers of Janaagraha’s work.
F N Subedar (Tata Sons) and R Mukundan (Tata Chemicals) for being the principal anchors and champions for helping Janaagraha to stitch a partnership with Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry to get I Change My City in Mumbai. We seek your support in our journey that is understandably long and hard. We will leave no stone unturned as we redouble our efforts to transform the lives of millions of us and our families living in cities.