INCLUDE Platform

Civil society advocacy collaborations in India

Civil society advocacy collaborations and their contributions to CSO capacities and legitimacy to advance inclusive sustainable development and equality in the Indian context

This project studies advocacy collaborations between CSOs working at the grassroots, national and international levels in India. Unlike many other studies of transnational advocacy networks, it focuses on the contributions of collaboration to the agency and work of Indian CSOs at the domestic level. The project seeks to learn how the different capacities, understandings, viewpoints and forms of power and legitimacy shape these CSOs’ domestic political roles as they interact with each other and navigate the opportunities, dependencies and constraints connected with collaboration. The study will explore the Dialogue & Dissent programmes in their wider civil society context to facilitate understanding of the added value of these programmes. In addition, research will be conducted on government and private-sector engagement with civil society to establish how political realities co-define the access of different types of CSOs to actors and processes. This includes analysis of the ways Dialogue and Dissent may contributes to the development of legitimacy and capacity in the eyes of actors targeted by the programme.

The research aims to understand how collaborations between different types of CSOs at grassroots, national and international levels contribute to inclusive and sustainable development. The study will focus on CSO activity around two themes: climate-related natural hazards and women’s rights. Besides a literature review, other research activities – content analysis, network analysis, interviews with CSO staff and members, participant observation of CSO activities and interviews with actors outside the CSOs including, most importantly, advocacy targets like policymakers – will be conducted to further understand the different types of collaborations undertaken by CSOs in India. The study will contribute to informing future policy regarding support to civil society. It will show how collaboration, as a key dimension of Dialogue & Dissent programmes, contributes to the development of CSO legitimacy and capacity, while also identifying the challenges involved.

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  • Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
  • International Institute of Social Studies
  • Lehigh University
  • Partners for Resilience
  • Wageningen University and Research Centre

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