What We Do  > Civic Participation

Building cities for
all, demands participation from all

Civic participation is a foundational pillar of democracy. For cities to thrive, citizens must go beyond voting and play a more active role in daily democracy.

We empower citizens and elected representatives with knowledge of local governance and citizenship as well as with the tools they need to engage in neighbourhood development. We also offer guidance on how to mobilise communities to engage and collaborate with city governments.

These efforts to deepen citizen participation and invigorate civic leadership are primarily channelled towards strengthening Ward Sabhas (also known as ‘Ward Committees’ in cities where they are formalised by law).

A Multi-Pronged Approach to Catalysing Ward Sabhas

Engagement between civil society and government is crucial to realising the potential of Ward Sabhas to spark change. We facilitate this engagement through:

  • ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP
  • CITY LEADERS PROGRAM
  • CIVIC LEARNING

Active
Citizenship

Improving citizen participation is crucial to improving quality of life. Empowered citizens have a say in how their neighbourhoods and cities are planned and managed, how funds are allocated, and which civic problems are prioritised.

We work on participatory democracy at the local level with:

  • Community Coalitions
  • Tools
  • Data

Active
Citizenship

Improving citizen participation is crucial to improving quality of life. Empowered citizens have a say in how their neighbourhoods and cities are planned and managed, how funds are allocated, and which civic problems are prioritised.

We work on participatory democracy at the local level with:

  • Community Coalitions
  • Tools
  • Data

Active Citizenship

Deepening citizen-government engagement through community coalitions

01

City Politics

The City Politics Platform is an initiative to mobilize citizens and communities at the city level. It boosts participation in local civic matters, advocates for ward committees, and creates an enabling space for emerging civic leaders.

02

Slum Developer Associations

Slum Developer Associations (SDAs) promote and support the participation of the urban poor in the development of their settlements. In Odisha, we are working towards strengthening SDAs as the fourth tier of governance. This will pave the way for the urban poor to plan, prioritise, and oversee the transformation of their settlements into liveable habitats called Biju Adarsh colonies.

Building civic technology platforms to resolve neighbourhood issues

01

Swacchata Technology Platform

02

MyCityMyBudget

MyCityMyBudget (MCMB) is a participatory budgeting initiative implemented in collaboration with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and civil society organisations. It aims to make citizen voices an integral part of the city budget-making process.

03

Public Eye

Run in collaboration with the Bengaluru Traffic Police, Public Eye is an app that allows citizens to report traffic violations and sensitizes them about traffic rules.

04

Biju Adarsh Colony Portal

The Biju Adarsh Colony Portal is a collaboration between the Government of Odisha and Janaagraha. Powered by IChangeMyCity, the portal tracks and monitors the progress of the Jaga Mission of slum upgradation and delisting. It offers a district and ward-wise breakdown of the delisting and trainings as well as updates from the slum.

Encouraging data-driven decision making for city budgets

01

Infrastructure Scores

Infrastructure scores provide an accurate picture of the quality of life in a city. Our adaptable and scalable framework assesses the quality and accessibility of a city’s infrastructure. This includes roads, parks, playgrounds, public toilets, footpaths, bus stops and other infrastructure.

02

Budget Information

Citizen participation in a city’s budget-making process is dependent on accessibility to data. We simplify budget information to help citizens understand the availability of funds and prioritise allocations.

councillor leadership 2 1

City Leaders
Program

A capacity-building initiative, the City Leaders Program aims to equip elected representatives with the skills and knowledge they need to affect change in their constituencies.

councillor leadership 2 1

City Leaders
Program

A capacity-building initiative, the City Leaders Program aims to equip elected representatives with the skills and knowledge they need to affect change in their constituencies.

Civic Learning

The Civic Learning program is designed to activate citizenship among students, youth, and citizens. Through experiential learning, students learn how to solve local civic issues, develop leadership and critical thinking skills, as well as a strong understanding of how democracy functions.

Civic Learning

The Civic Learning program is designed to activate citizenship among students, youth, and citizens. Through experiential learning, students learn how to solve local civic issues, develop leadership and critical thinking skills, as well as a strong understanding of how democracy functions.

Collaborations

City Government Partnerships

State Government Partnerships

Central
Government Partnerships

Community
Coalitions

Collaborations

City Government Partnerships

State Government Partnerships

Central Government Partnerships

Community Coalitions

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT US

“Having worked with hundreds of cities around the world I have never seen an organisation as effective and speedy as Janaagraha in analysing the challenges of their city’s growth, developing solutions, mobilising the local citizenry and supporting local action. The Janaagraha model combines the roles of a think-tank, a capacity-building organisation and a grassroots movement, which in most cities are split into separate organisations that struggle to coordinate efforts. Janaagraha generates fresh, pragmatic solutions through a truly inter-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach, and it promotes its solutions boldly with a spirit of entrepreneurship and unjaded conviction. It puts the power of fresh, objective, practical thinking in the hands of citizens.”

Jeb Brugmann, Founding Partner 
The Next Practice 

Awards

  • Social Media for Empowerment Award (2017) by the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) for MyCityMyBudget.
  • The Manthan Award for South Asia (2015) for IChangeMyCity.
  • 41 Gems of Digital India (2017) for the Swachhata web and mobile apps.
  • Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF) Asia Award (2015) for IChangeMyCity.
  • Google Global Impact Award (2013) for IChangeMyCity.

Awards

  • Social Media for Empowerment Award (2017) by the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) for MyCityMyBudget.
  • The Manthan Award for South Asia (2015) for IChangeMyCity.
  • 41 Gems of Digital India (2017) for the Swachhata web and mobile apps.
  • Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF) Asia Award (2015) for IChangeMyCity.
  • Google Global Impact Award (2013) for IChangeMyCity.

Collaborative Action for Collective Good

Access Resources

Facilitate change at the neighbourhood level.

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Channel efforts and resources towards shared goals.

Join

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