Praxis – Institute for Participatory Practices

Voices for Change in India

Praxis is committed to mainstreaming the voices of the poor and marginalised sections of society across India in the process of development through participatory methods. Praxis is working with the urban homeless in Tamil Nadu to increase their visibility and voice using Shelter Monitoring Groups and participatory enumeration. They also work with sex workers and sexual minorities in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra to bring them into the post-2015 discussions to get them to make their own films telling their beliefs and experiences in their communities.

Research activities & outputs

Praxis Research Report: Voice for Change: Collective Action For Safe Spaces By Sex Workers And Sexual Minorities

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Voice for change: Collective Action For Safe Spaces By Sex Workers And Sexual Minorities Download
(4 MB)

Praxis Research Report: Voice for Change: CityMakers Seeking to Reclaim Cities They Build

The second issue in the Voice For Change series, CityMakers Seeking to Reclaim Cities They Build is focused on women, children and men who live in conditions of poverty in cities they help build and are often left out of development processes because of the stigma attached to their identities. It takes the reader through a series of narratives that are often unheard by those who frame policies and implement programmes ‐ Why do they face marginalisation? Why are they not being treated as citizens? Why are they not heard? Given these, how they envision the world? It is the result of a series of engagements with these groups and attempts to amplify voices of these communities on issues underlying these questions.

The report is based on a participatory research that involved the following stages: (a) community participants facilitated for scripting a participatory video and producing a film; (b) collecting and collating case stories of CityMakers facing different problems and their views on the issues; (c) using participatory tools, facilitating discussions with community participants to cull out different arguments that the analysis needs to contain; and (d) presenting draft report to community participants for their concluding remarks. Case stories pertain to CityMakers in Chennai and Delhi.

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Voice for change Citymakers Seeking to Reclaim Cities they Build Download
(921 KB)

Ground Level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda, India

Praxis facilitated a ‘Ground Level Panel’ in June 2013 in India. The Panel comprised 14 people from diverse backgrounds living in poverty and experiencing marginalisation, including women, transgender and men; urban slum dwellers; landless people; Dalits and tribal groups; people living in rural poverty;  disabled people and those from conflict and disaster-affected areas.

The 14 panelists deliberated over the UN High Level Panel’s (HLP) recommendations for a post- Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agenda for development and made their own recommendations based on ‘ground level’ experience.

After the five-day discussions, the Ground Level Panel produced a final communiqué of the outcomes of their deliberations which they presented to local, national and international decision-makers and the media, at an outreach day held in Delhi.

Read more about the Ground Level Panel process here.

Read the blog article written by Tom Thomas, CEO of Praxis, reflecting on the Ground Level Panel experience in India.

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India GLP communiqué July 2013 Communiqué produced by the fourteen panelists from the Ground Level Panel meeting in India Download
(1 MB)
GLP Flyer Download
(2 MB)
Invitation Letter Outreach Day Download
(379 KB)
Ground Level Panel India Press Note Download
(623 KB)
Ground Level Panels Press Pack Download
(712 KB)

Towards Acceptance Transgender Rights Film

This film is made by community members in Tamil Nadu, a state in south India. Tamil Nadu has an estimated population of 30,000 transgenders. The state is unique in the sense that it is the only one to have a transgender welfare board, with the state government offering support through ration cards for transgender people and government orders seeking to create a third gender for admissions to colleges. However, despite these measures, even in Tamil Nadu, stigma attached to the community is reflected in a regular denial of rights, ridicule and discrimination they face. The community has come forward time and again to have their voices heard and ensure that their path to empowerment is guaranteed. Through this, they hope that the post-2015 development agenda will be inclusive of transgenders as a community that has faced marginalisation over time immemorial.