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Global Communities’ Programs in India

Published 01/06/2018 by Global Communities


Beginning in 2003, Global Communities partnered with India’s local governments, national ministries, corporations and hundreds of communities across the country to design and implement programs to reduce poverty and empower communities to sustain positive change. Global Communities’ programs help stakeholders create more-inclusive growth by not only improving infrastructure and access to basic services, but also livelihoods and overall empowerment. The outcomes of our programs include: new and improved housing, increased access to sanitation and water, better solid waste management, new vocational skills for livelihoods and employment, and improved access to financial services and social welfare programs.

With support from the John Deere Foundation, Global Communities is implemented the Hunar (“Skills”) program, which builds the capacity of individuals and communities to improve agricultural productivity and find employment in the agricultural machinery sector. Hunar targeted the Gulbarga region, Karnataka; Bhopal region, Madhya Pradesh; and Nagpur/Akola region, Maharashtra. Global Communities also supported the New Horizons program, which organized structured volunteer opportunities for John Deere employees to engage in community development projects near their factories and offices in India.

With support from the Caterpillar Foundation, Global Communities’ Trash to Treasure program helped the city of Bangalore establish a decentralized waste management and recycling system. The program piloted seven recycling centers in Bangalore that recycled 45 tons of waste per month. These centers provide direct jobs for informal waste collectors, as well as provide new income opportunities in the collection of waste and for waste workers. The Trash to Treasure program took significant steps to support the rights, dignity, recognition, and security of the estimated 15,000 informal waste collectors in the city. The program helped the Bangalore government become the first city in India to issue identity cards to informal waste pickers that authorize their work in the city and highlight their contribution to the health and sanitation of their community. More than 7,000 individuals have received these cards. The program also helped organize 2,500 waste collectors to form an association called Hasirudala (“green force”) to advocate for better working conditions and access to government services. At the conclusion of the program, the 7 established waste management centers received new low-cost equipment and tools that improved their occupational health and safety, and the centers are now providing waste management services to more than 7,000 households, in addition to the 4,500 slum households served.

Slum Communities Achieving Livable Environments with Urban Partners (SCALE-UP)
With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Communities implemented SCALE-UP in India and Ghana from 2007-2011. In India, the program operated in the cities of cities of Pune, Bangalore and Nagpur, where up to half of residents live in rapidly expanding slums. Through SCALE-UP, Global Communities improved slum conditions and the livelihoods of slum residents by:

Working with local residents and organizing communities to redevelop slum housing
Assisting waste collectors with interventions like health screenings, hygiene education, vocational training, new safety equipment, improved working conditions and association membership
Training and organizing more than 5,000 community volunteers to perform slum neighborhood surveys and develop action plans to advocate for their neighborhoods.

Producing comprehensive slum atlases to help local governments, NGOs and other social institutions identify the most pressing and prevalent issues in each slum and make plans to address them
Registering more than 36,000 informal workers through LabourNet to help connect them to job opportunities
Slum and Village Improvement and Sammarudhhi.

In partnership with John Deere Foundation, Global Communities’ Slum and Village Improvement and Sammarudhhi (Holistic Development) programs worked to improve the social and economic well-being of residents in the slum communities of Pune, Dewas, and Sirhind. The program focused on making measurable improvements in community infrastructure development, agriculture productivity, educational quality and economic opportunity, and improving the employability of the communities’ youth. To respond to the growing demand for skilled laborers, Global Communities partnered with LabourNet to set up a training center and provide vocational training that helped job-seekers meet the labor-force demands. Working with local partner, MASHAL, women were taught how to form self-help groups where they learned how to run their own home-base businesses. Other opportunities for women included vocational training courses in beauty and hair care, tailoring, electrical work, and sales and retail. In terms of educational support, special teachers were assigned to schools to provide additional support in areas such as literacy for primary level students and test preparation for older students. Utilizing John Deere’s expertise in agricultural development, the program also helped rural communities to implement better agricultural practices to help farmers improve their yields and productivity.

Sahbhagi Yojana 2 Support Program (SY2SP)
With funding from USAID, Global Communities implemented the SY2SP slum upgrading program in 103 slums with 28,200 households through a program in three cities in Gujarat, India: Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara.