The activities of the foundation in India are an attempt to contribute towards sustainable development through capacity building aimed at supporting local governance, women empowerment, creating safety for women and children in urban and rural spaces, as well as environment protection and water conservation.
The foundation works with partner organisations primarily in the field of:
Despite federal tradition and constitutional anchorage, the goals of democratic decentralization or ”Gram Swaraj” of the 600,000 villages in India are far from achieved.
By having a politically educated and motivated local population, who know their rights and responsibilities, the vertical separation of powers can function as foreseen in the Constitution. Through state-level discussions and political seminars with local partner organisations in Rajasthan and Kerala, the Foundation builds capacities on the ground, thereby strengthening the bottom-up approach in the local federal structures. In Rajasthan, a model panchayat is being developed until 2020.
Special emphasis is given to gender-friendliness as women contribute to 50% of the posts in local governments who can bring substantial improvements to their villages when fully empowered. Strengthening the voice of women in local self-governance – especially in formulation of policies – takes into account 100% of the population’s voice, thus promoting democratic structures.
The approach in India is complemented by publications and the International Munich Federalism Days, a conference for global exchange on development and research on federalism.
India is becoming less safe for women and children to live in; sexual crimes against this group are on the rise.
A well-trained and citizen-friendly police force as well as a working cooperation mechanism with state prosecution, judiciary and the civil society help to provide a more effective exercise of justice and safety for India’s citizens.
Hanns Seidel Foundation facilitates a cooperation between the Bavarian and the Karnataka State Police under the existing Memorandum of Understanding between both states on community-based policing, practice-oriented education and stress-resilience.
Together with the Government of Karnataka, State Police, NGOs and Human Rights Commission, we support a cooperation of all stakeholders on women and victim protection in Karnataka. Similarly, the Foundation improves the service delivery of government institutions and authorities through joint workshops for all stakeholders of women and victim protection in selected urban and rural districts in Maharashtra.
Water is quickly becoming the most concerning issue in India’s rural areas and a potential source of conflict. With the impact of climate change, the growing population is facing various issues such as droughts, floods and shrinking predictability of rainfall.
Along with its partner organisations, Hanns Seidel Foundation endeavours to create awareness for the changing water and climatic situations and thereby inculcate a change in behaviour at the community level both in rural and urban areas.
Through trainings, technical demonstrations and educational excursions, our partners are enabling villagers to anticipate their water situation, to discuss solutions and to appeal for development with local and state-level authorities. Technical demonstrations help the villagers to tackle water problems themselves. The underlying concept is a training of trainers utilising internally-created material.
With its international conferences in varying countries, the Foundation also offers a cross-national South Asia forum for scientific and political exchange on a common approach against regional water issues.
With increasing ravages of nature coupled with rising demand from the population, South Asia is facing severe challenges in the availability of water. This has further led to conflict between Indian states and obstructs regional understanding. Only a joint approach can achieve resource efficiency: Through cooperation and understanding between the countries, the regional stress on water resources can be mitigated.
In this context, the Foundation offers cross-national dialogue-forums on water resource management that serve as a neutral platform of scientific and technical exchange on transboundary water problems. Scientists, bureaucrats and policy makers, especially from South Asia, utilise this forum in order to intensify transnational cooperation. On a national level, the Foundation supports the dialogue on water federalism.