The Pragya Approach
The Pragya Approachis unique – innovative, issues-focussed, community-centric - the path to sustainable development through application of technical & managerial knowledge and community involvement. Socio-ecologically adapted grassroots projects focus on area-specific needs and follow the process of community-led development towards creating
Pragya Principles for Programming in ‘Difficult & Remote Regions’
We begin with deep research into the specific area(s), involving communities and other stakeholders in the need assessment process and in project design. The projects are adapted to the ecological and climatic requirements of the area, the interventions are designed with focus on making them sensitive to the local socio-political context, and the content and methods are localised, incorporating local cultural elements.
We work to develop alternative methods such as for delivering education and health services, which would suit the different socio-ecological conditions of the remote regions that we service. Similarly, we modify available technologies (such as for water and energy) to adapt them to the geographical context of the regions we work in, and simplify them to make them suitable for rural application. Pragya also has deep value for local, traditional knowledge, and blends these with modern, scientific methods for maximum effectiveness.
Our interventions are holistic in nature, spanning multiple sectors, in order to address all associated issues in a comprehensive manner. We understand that in the less-developed, fragile ecosystems of the world in particular, development efforts should also help to achieve the goals of conservation and equity. Pragya initiatives therefore, are aninextricably woven blend of development and conservation elements.
We have adapted our delivery model to the conditions that characterize remote worlds- inaccessibility, sparse populations, inadequate infrastructure. We set up and work through a tiered, hub-and-spoke system, with Pragya branches in the nearest urban centre, community-managed resource centres and community resource groups serving village clusters in remote areas, and multiple small facilities (eg, education and health centres) dispersed in needy villages.
Pragya uses participatory methods throughout the program life-cycle, and seeks to create self-reliant, community-based development systems. We recognize the accumulation of human capital or knowledge as the key engine of growth for regions. Community organizations are set up and local human capacities are built for managing development. We also mobilize communities for advocacy, giving them a voice in the mainstream politico-administrative processes of the nation.
Development of underserved remote area takes time, and Pragya therefore has a long-term engagement with areas it serves. The nature of the support changes over time, beginning with awareness building, building the capacity of the community to self-manage, providing inputs in a phased manner, and shaping a gradual development of the area.
We also work on the State systems at the regional and national levels, to sensitise them on remote areas and communities, and influence a more supportive environment. We facilitate linkages between community groups and various support institutions, the government, and industry. We also promote people-state interfaces to engender a deeper understanding and a spirit of collaboration for development.