About us

Praxis is a knowledge organisation that plays a role in influencing equity- and governance-related policies through participation and ensuring the right of every individual to a life of dignity and choices.

Its aim is facilitating participation towards democratisation of development processes and results that will pave the way for an equitable society without poverty.

Our Mission and Vision

At Praxis, we see a world without poverty in which every person has the right to participate in decision-making processes and to live a life of dignity and choices. We strive for the democratisation of development processes and institutions in order to ensure that the voices of the poor are heard and acted upon. Poor include all marginalised communities based on caste, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, occupation, religion, ethnicity, citizenship, ability and substance use.

Our Milestones

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2020

1997

  • Registered as a not-for-profit organisation with its first office in Patna.

  • May 1997: Organised a workshop in Kolkata which led to the publication of a book Rural Appraisal.

  • November 1997: Organised another workshop in Patna to look at how Praxis could take on participatory projects that gave a direction to the organisation’s work.

1998

As a facilitator of participatory practices, conducted a participatory poverty indexing of drought-prone Bolangir district of western Orissa in India, to inform the design of the DFID-supported Western Orissa Rural Livelihoods Project. The study pointed to the fact that poverty in Bolangir was not solely the by-product of frequent natural disasters, but systematic fallout of large-scale institutional failures and suppressive political dynamics at various levels. This led to the publication of the book ‘The Politics of Poverty: The tale of the Living dead in Bolangir’.

1997-2000

1999

2000

Developed an effective participatory monitoring and evaluation system for the urban poverty alleviation department of the Cochin Corporation, selected neighbourhood group members and helped them build, own and operate the monitoring and evaluation system.

  • Carried out ‘The Gender Impact Assessment Study’ to assess the net impact of the Uttar Pradesh Basic Education project of the World Bank on the lives of women, and on the education status of the girl-children in particular. It was conducted across 14 locations in the Uttar Pradesh.

  • Facilitated community consultations with the poor in India and came up with a synthesis report to feed into the World Development Report of the World Bank. The report brought the focus to the first person perspective of the poor narrating their concerns, preferences and realities.

2009

  • With support from UNICEF, facilitated formulation of an Integrated District Plan in Vaishali district of Bihar under the stewardship of Panchayati Raj Institutions and Municipal bodies, in line with the guidelines of Planning Commission.  The process entailed democratic identification of development needs at multiple levels – ranging from ward sabhas and gram sabhas to the District Planning Committee of the district.  

  • Anchored the Social Equity Watch, a platform for sharing equity concerns and to politically engage in the promotion of social equity in all interventions for development.

  • Working on Child Protection and Child Participation, facilitated setting up a baseline of Child Protection Mechanisms, Infrastructure and Systems across 10 states for Integrated Child Protection Scheme; and facilitated 30 school girls in Uttar Pradesh to organise a study on school drop out in villages in one district.

  • Facilitated and built strategies for mobilising communities of injecting drug users in Manipur and Nagaland.

  • Contracted by the UNICEF-MAPEDIR project to directly involve rural women in the analysis of the maternal health situation of the village and understand causes of maternal death.

  • Conducted a series of verifications with regard to various critical entitlements, basic amenities and services to validate claims of the government in the relocation sites for Tamil Nadu Urban Development Programme.

  • Under the aegis of Social Equity Watch, undertook a study of the Commonwealth Games to map the process of social exclusion and the impact on the livelihood, food habits, nutrition and health of urban poor in Delhi.

  • Through an evaluation of the project “Organising for Access and Influence: Increasing Economic and Social Security of Informal sector Women Worker” helped SEWA and One World Action on improving the facilitation of the self-dependence and economic sustainability of these women.

  • Tied up with Dalit youth group, the Jan Adhikar Kendra, to facilitate the setting up of the social justice committees for gram panchayats, panchayat samitis of the Chenari block & and Zila parishads of the Rohtas district.

2010

2013-2016

2017-2019

1997-2000

2001

  • Did a comprehensive participatory poverty assessment was done in Madhya Pradesh to feed into poverty reduction policies of the state government. The primary objective of the study was to understand poverty from the perspective of the poor and their priorities in terms of actions to improve their lives.

  • Carried out a participatory assessment of government of Orissa’s delivery of public services for the poverty task force, Government of Orissa.

  • Undertook a participatory programme needs assessment for The Leprosy Mission undertaken in Mushahri & Mural blocks, Muzaffarpur, Bihar.

  • Did an urban participatory poverty assessment in Qutbullapur town of Andhra Pradesh along with ActionAid, Hyderabad, as part of a larger project 'Andhra Pradesh urban Services for the Poor, for Department for International Development, India, and the state government.

  • Undertook a development audit of the District Poverty Initiative Project, Rajasthan, two years into the project to feed into the mid term review recommendations. Commissioned by the World Bank, the study involved engagement with various stakeholders at all stages, including functionaries of the state and district project management units, Panchayati Raj institutions, Indira Gandhi Panchayati Raj scheme and other agencies.

  • Facilitated a strategy-planning consultation for Oxfam Eritrea to explore internal perspectives on scaling up participatory approaches in Eritrea and to articulate the role of Oxfam there.

2002

2003

  • Began work in Afghanistan in 2003 to try and support rehabilitation and reconstruction through capacity building and community-based research to enhance capacity of national, regional, and local governments, and of local and international organisations to engage communities more meaningfully.

  • Conducted a participatory poverty assessment on poverty dynamics in the Chanderi Weavers’ Cluster and the Cluster Development Programme of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation.

2004

  • Conducted a training for Christian Aid Afghanistan where they planned, designed and organised three workshops on baseline surveys, need assessment and impact assessment.

  • Facilitated participatory poverty assessments in Assam, Sikkim and Chhattisgarh to identify priorities for development action for Asian Development Bank.

1997-2000

2005

  • Undertook a micro-planning process across 32 Tsunami-affected villages in Nagapattinam to substantiate the argument that participation of communities in post-emergency situations is not only possible, but also non-negotiable.

  • Facilitated a community-led change planning process in Sri Lanka where ActionAid sought to help Tsunami-affected communities in coastal Sri Lanka rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

  • Facilitated a participatory process documentation of a movement by sex workers led by the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee that aimed to improve their living standard and generate a sense of urgency to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Conducted a participatory appraisal of priorities, well-being and participation of a community in Thirupperuntherai in Batticoala, Sri Lanka, for British Red Cross Society to bring out the community’s own perspectives on development, which led to the publication of the report, The Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

  • Revisited Bolangir in Odisha eight years after first conducting a participatory poverty indexing in the region to see if there has been any impact and if yes, to what extent. The exercise resulted in the publication of the book, ‘Bolangir Revisited’.

  • As part of the Maldives Recovery Programme of British Red Cross Society, facilitated a participatory process to empower the local communities to identify beneficiaries (from multiple islands), resolve conflicts and take control and ownership of the BRCS's shelter reconstruction program in Th. Vilufishi Island.

2006

2007

  • To take the Southern perspective to the North, and to expand its global reach, opened an office in the UK.

  • Expressing solidarity with Dalit inclusion in the aftermath of a severe flood in Bihar, started supporting the secretariat of the Dalit Watch, a consortium of like-minded organisations working on issues of social equity, and assisting them in monitoring of disaster-response interventions from a capacity building programmes and strategy formulation that take into account the dalit perspective.

  • Undertook Land Mapping along with Ekta Parishad in Bihar to identify specific issues relating to land distribution and prospects relating to allotment of land to the huge number of landless households in the state.

  • Conducted the end term evaluation of the ‘Essential Advocacy Project’ of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Avahan initiative that sought to create an enabling environment for communities of sex workers, transgenders, drug users and men who have sex with men to fight stigma and lead a life with dignity.

2008

  • In the aftermath of the Kosi floods, undertook a ‘Kosi Yatra’, along the Kosi river, to get a sense of the damage caused and to extend support and solidarity to the flood-affected communities. As Dalit Watch secretariat, Praxis assisted the member organisations to monitor relief camps set up in the aftermath of the floods to address issues of discrimination against Dalits in the distribution process.

  • Heard the views of children and foregrounded their concerns and points of view in a study for Save the Children and an evaluation for Railway Children, UK.

  • Conducted rapid appraisal of vulnerability of workers to bondage situation in key economic sectors in Tamil Nadu with support from the International Labour Organisation as part of its efforts to promote the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

  • Commissioned by Help Age India (HAI), undertook a participatory study on conditions faced by the elderly persons in the flood affected district of Supaul and provided HAI support by sharing knowledge and building linkages with local organisations to implement relief work.