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Listening to the least: engaging communities in development programs in India

Faculty Advisor




community, participation, engagement, social work, NGOs, Panchayathiraj, stakeholders

Abstract (summary)

Engaging community or following participatory practice in development was initiated by Non-Government Organizations and subsequently by various government departments. Working with stakeholders in communities demands an understanding of the local culture, social milieu and power dynamics. Local problems need local solutions as well as support and resources from outside the community. Community engagement is imperative while working with culturally diverse country like India, where no one size fits all. The vast voluntary sector consisting community-based staff of NGOs and trained social workers, have vigorously embraced engagement since the last decade of the last century. Community agencies ensure involvement of stakeholders and community members in all sorts of development activities including agriculture, livelihood, gender development, micro business and health and sanitation. This article discusses how citizen engagement is undertaken in community development programs in India by NGOs and government departments, with case studies from in rural, urban and slum dwellings.

Publication Information

Vareed B. (2021). Listening to the Least: Engaging Communities in Development Programs in India. In Opačić, A. (Ed.). Practicing Social Work in Deprived Communities: Competencies, Methods, and Techniques. (pp 91-106). Switzerland: Springer.


Item Type

Book Chapter




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