The Changing Role of Civil Society in a Middle-Income Country | Non Governmental Organization | Poverty

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This case study from Oxfam India reviews some of the issues arising from India’s recent evolution to a middle-income country and offers solutions from across a wide range of India Experience. 35 interviews with academics, leaders of marginalised communities, social movements, NGOs, donors and representatives of the corporate sector provide insights and answers to questions on social and economic issues, on the role of civil society, and on interactions between major stakeholders such as civil society, the government and the corporate sector.
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  iii   Oxfam India working   papers series December 2011OIWPS - XI Lucy Dubochet  Study supported by Oxfam India The Changing Role of Civil Society in a Middle-Income Country  A case study from India  In 2008, India met the $1005 level of Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, the World Bank’s threshold to qualify as middle-income country. Other major countries—China, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan—have followed a similar trajectory, the consequence being that most poor now live in middle-income countries. This evolution, and the economic situation in many donor countries, has prompted a debate about how best to focus efforts of poverty alleviation.This study seeks to present views from India on some of the questions raised by this evolution. It uses the fi ndings of 35 interviews with academics, leaders of marginalised communities, social movements, NGOs, donors and representatives of the corporate sector to answer the following questions. How have social and economic issues evolved, and what are the main challenges? Does the role of civil society change in this context, and what are the challenges for civil society? How are interactions between major stakeholders such as civil society, the government and the corporate sector changing? With donors phasing out, how will civil society be affected? Abstract Disclaimer: Oxfam India Working Paper Series disseminates the fi nding of the work in progress to encourage the exchange of ideas about development issues. An objective of the series is to get the fi ndings out quickly, even if the presentations are less than fully polished. The papers carry the names of the authors and should be cited accordingly. The fi ndings, interpretations, and conclusion expressed in this paper are entirely those of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the views of Oxfam India. Produced by:   Oxfam India  For more information, please contact:  Avinash Kumar  Theme Lead - Essential ServicesOxfam IndiaPlot No. 1, Community Centre2nd Floor (Above Sujan Mahinder Hospital)New Friends Colony, New Delhi - 110 025Tel: 91 11 4653 8000Website: www.oxfamindia.org The Author: Lucy DubochetLucy Dubochet is an independent researcher. She has had work experience with the Institute of Peace and Con fl ict Studies in Delhi, International Crisis Group’s (ICG) Central Africa Project in Nairobi, and ICG’s Communications Unit in Brussels. She holds a MA in Media, Peace and Con fl ict Studies from the UN-mandated University for Peace and a MA in political philosophy from the University of Geneva. Study supported by Oxfam India in collaboration with Lucy Dubochet Copyright @ 2010 Oxfam India Reproduction of this publication for educational and non-commercial purposes is authorized, without prior written permission, proided the source is fully acknowledged  Contents Acronyms 4I. Social and Economic Context: Evolu t ons and Challenges Ahead 5II. Civil Society in India: an Overview 9III. The State and Civil Society 13IV. Roles of Civil Society in the Current Context 17  A. Delivery 17  B. Defending Cons t  tu t  onal Rights 18 C. Accountability 18 D. Empowering the Poor 19 E. Building Evidence 21 V. Engaging the Stakeholders of Middle-Income India 23  A. The Corporate Sector 23 B. The Middle Class 24 C. The Media 24 D. India’s Role in the World 25 VI. Challenges for Civil Society 27  A. Legi  t  macy, Transparency, Governance 27  B. Donors Withdrawal 28 C. Indianiza t  on of INGOs: an Answer to Challenges? 30 VII. Conclusion 32References 33Annexe I: Ques t ons 35Annexe II: List of Interviewees 36
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