This brief article explores what is really meant by capacity building and how it can be made effective through grassroots empowerment. The author examines social action as an organised set of action and socio-political process, explaining the concept of capacity building as social action. He looks at capacity building as social action based on an analytical approach seeking to integrate the ethical, political and pragmatic aspects of capacity building, based on values of human rights, socio-ecological justice and equitable social change.
This brief paper considers the definition of what exactly constitutes public advocacy, particularly as it applies to the Indian context. The author examines public action as a mode of social action, shaped by political culture, social systems and the constitutional framework in the country where it is being practised. He defines the meaning of public advocacy from a political perspective, and goes on to look specifically at the concept and practice of public advocacy in India, giving a historical background to different arenas of where it has developed.
This paper provides an introduction to the concept of participatory or people-centred advocacy that emphasises the direct role marginalized groups must play if equitable power relations and advocacy victories are to be sustained. The author highlights the main differences between advocacy viewed as a systemic process of policy change, and advocacy understood as a process of social transformation.
Public advocacy is the bandwagon that everyone's clambering onto: but not people know what public advocacy really is
This paper discusses the concept and practice of public advocacy. It describes the various practices of public advocacy, what advocacy involves, its challenges, and offers a brief look at public advocacy in India. It argues that public advocacy, rather than being a mere fashionable term, should signify a set of planned, proactive and organised actions to address issues of injustice, marginalisation and rights abuse in a more effective and efficient manner. To do so effectively, existing power relations have to be shifted in favour of the marginalised.