The Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation (BRLF) is proposed to be set up to foster and facilitate civil society action in partnership with government for transforming the livelihoods and lives of people in areas such as the Central Indian Adivasi belt, which would be the initial geography of focus of the Foundation. The aim is to support grassroots level action towards empowerment of people, particularly the Adivasis andscaling up of approaches that are innovative both in terms of programme content and strategy. Innovation can be in myriad directions – technology, social mobilisational approaches, local institution building, architecture of partnerships, management techniques etc. Strategically, a common feature will be that each project supported by BRLF will attempt to leverage the vast resources being made available by both banks and government for a large number of programmes, such as MGNREGA, NRLM, IWMP, BRGF, IAP, RKVY, RADP, NHM, IAY, NRDWP, TSC etc. The idea will be to provide support through the BRLF to projects that largely seek to leverage government programmes and funding already available on the ground. Indeed, the BRLF will not only facilitate the possibilities of such leverage by its NGO partners, it will also aim to provide the necessary legitimation that such partners require in the often contentious ground realities that they face in these regions.
Initial BRLF support will be provided to civil society partners as “trigger funding”, i.e., to develop proposals that reflect this partnership with State Governments/ PRIs/ banks. BRLF will assist its civil society partners in ensuring that the design of their proposals incorporates a collaborative mode of functioning with Governments/ PRIs/ banks. It will facilitate the strengthening of such partnerships, which will be an essential element of the final proposal submitted to BRLF for support for a period of 3-5 years.
The thematic content of work to be supported will include (though not necessarily limited to):
- Watershed Management
- Common Pool Resource Management, including groundwater management, forest management and participatory irrigation management
- Sustainable Livelihoods including improved agriculture, dairying, fisheries, forestry etc
- Value-addition to agricultural products, non-timber forest produce etc
- Skill Development
- Integrated Habitat Improvement, including housing, drinking water, sanitation, solid and liquid waste management etc
- Food and Nutrition Security
- Local Institution Building and Strengthening of Adivasi Leadership, especially women, in PRIs, SHGs, JFMCs, community-based organisations, formal and informal producer groups, etc
- Capacity Building of stakeholders, government and PRI functionaries
- Social Mobilisation and Awareness Generation around Entitlements and Development Programmes
- Development of a Pool of Professional Human Resources that could be deployed in these regions
- Documentation and Research
Projects that visualise convergence across these thematic areas are more likely to be supported by BRLF