PRAJA - Making Democracy Work

 

Praja is a non-partisan organisation working towards enabling accountable governance since 1999. Praja empowers citizens to participate in governance by providing knowledge and perspective so that they can become politically active and involved beyond the ballot box. It undertakes extensive research and highlights civic issues to build the awareness of, and mobilize action by the government and elected representatives (ERs).

THE PROBLEM

Praja believes that uninformed and disengaged ERs and administration, rather than existing systems or policies, are responsible for the lack of good governance. There is a paucity of tools to facilitate effective interaction between citizens and the local government.

PRAJA's RESPONSE

Praja conducts data driven research and provides information on civic issues to citizens, media, and government administration and works with ERs to identify and address inefficiencies in their work processes, bridge the information gaps, and help them in taking corrective measures.

HOW DID IT EVOLVE?

1999: Praja, along with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), created Mumbai's first Citizen Charter
2003: Teamed up with BMC and built its citizens' grievance redressal mechanism, the Online Complaint and Management System (OCMS), and conducted complaint audits in the ensuing years
2005: Published Mumbai Citizen's Handbook to demystify governance in Mumbai; About 2 lakh copies distributed
2008: Initiated Praja Dialogue; launched CityScan, an online collation of extensive data on civic and security Issues In Mumbai; Published councillor handbook; and annual report cards on MLAs, and councillors
2014: Conducted workshops with ERs, educating them on policies and roles; started the Delhi Chapter to replicate the model developed In Mumbai
2016: Launched MLA and Councillor Report Cards in Delhi