Fountain of Development Research and action (FODRA) has been successful in implementing its grassroots programmes through participation based development approaches and strategies.Because of its exposure its various developments projects/programme as consultant/resource team in planning, implementing and evaluation exercises before transforming itself as grassroots programme implementer, the programmes were planned and implemented with practical focus and approach.
In 1997, it was decided by Fountain of Development Research and Action (FODRA) to implement grassroots level programmes by using a part of revenue generated by the team through consultancy assignment. Accordingly, FODRA was registered under Registrar of Societies Act. in Delhi to avail non-profit status and tax benefits. From 1999 onwards, it collaborated with Dutch donor agencies CORDAID, SIMAVI and WASTE through long-term project partnership in addition to it short-term partnerships with ASHA, AID, LDSC from USA. It has implemented a series of programmes starting with non-formal education for school drop-outs and community health & hygiene to organizing women and communities improved access to basic services and financial services. The below mentioned are some of the highlighted programme achievements during these years below :
1. Financial Inclusion and Women Empowerment:
Successfully promoted a self-sustaining and member managed self-help group based microfinance programme benefiting than 4,000 poor households in north-east Delhi low income informal settlements. The programme has been a success in an urban heterogeneous situation by mobilizing so far more than 25 million Indian rupees in the form of equity capital through monthly membership savings to operate its microfinance operation among the members. As on today the programme is generating minimum revenue to meet its operational cost with out any external financial support.
2. Women’s Federation
A federation in name of “Swanidhi (meaning own money) Microfin Development Society” has been promoted among 250 self-help groups with more than 4,500 women. The federation acts as a platform for socio-economic development local community in addition to its core focus on microfinance operation. The federation is managed by 19 elected directors representing self-help group cluster federations.
3. Empowering of local actors and enhancing the sustainability of development processes
Local development committees and resident welfare association have been successfully promoted and capacitated to actively participate in local development planning and collective pro-active actions to pressurise the authorities in delivering services. Resident Welfare Associations have been facilitated in lobbying with city government for land tenure right and improving community basic infrastructures. This has helped in securing land tenure right for these low-income informal settlements and mobilising minimum basic amenities and other entitlements have been successfully mobilised from local authorities.
4. Community Health programme:
The long-term focus on community health and hygiene has helped in creating knowledge and awareness on best health practices. The programme has successfully promoted trained community health and hygiene cadres for mobilizing basic health facilities and services from local government departments. Successful networking and collaboration with local health authorities has helped in establishing a fully equipped satellite community health centre to deliver the basic health services at an affordable distance.
5. Urban Sanitation:
Generally municipality is responsible to make sure that all citizens are provided with access to basic services such solid waste collection and management, sewage disposal and drainage management in addition to other services. However, Delhi Municipality has failed to deliver such basic services to the residents living in slums and informal settlements. In such a situation FODRA has successfully implemented a fee based self-sustaining solid waste management system among 5,000 households in its north-east Delhi programme area. A community partnership model by involving resident welfare association, local development committees and private service providers (waste collectors) has been introduced to address the solid waste management problem by payment of a monthly fee to service providers. Similarly, the sustainable sanitation financing tools such microfinance and sanitation guarantee fund has been successfully introduced to finance for installing individual toilets and improving an existing one, thereby making area with 99%families having access to toilets. Successful lobbing and networking with local authorities and government machinery resulted in land tenure approval and settlement right to the families followed by infrastructure investment by local authorities to improve the basic amenities/facilities such as road, drainage, electricity and so on. The grant of land tenure right and improved access to basic amenities has increased land price from a little over INR 300/- per square feet to INR 7,000/- per square feet during last five years.