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NIPSA Members

Janaagraha

India

Janaagraha is a non-profit organisation based in Bangalore, India. It works with citizens and the government to improve the quality of life in Indian cities and towns. The term 'quality of life' as defined by Janaagraha has two distinct and inter-related aspects. The first is 'quality of urban infrastructure and services' - the quality of urban of amenities, i.e., roads, drains, traffic ,transport, water supply, etc. The second aspect is 'quality of citizenship' - the role that urban residents play by participating in civic issues. Founded in 2001 by Ramesh Ramanathan and Swati Ramanathan, Janaagraha started as a movement to enable citizen participation in public governance. It has now evolved into a robust institution for Citizenship and Democracy. 

Janaagraha’s City-Systems Framework:

There can be no disagreement that our cities need urgent attention – roads, traffic, garbage, power, water-supply, environment, crime, safety and the whole gamut of Quality of Life aspects that frustrate us daily as city-residents. But these are only the symptoms. They are visible elements of a systemic failure in the governance and management of our cities. Any number of band-aids cannot prevent the malaise from spreading, unless the underlying structural deficiencies are treated. Figuring out a way by which the challenges of cities can be distilled into a frame of reference, will align action towards coherent change.

We call this our City-Systems framework and view the challenges of our cities through the lens of its four defining aspects. These four interrelated aspects are the building blocks for transforming our cities and creating a more sustainable future for growth.

• Urban Planning & Design
• Urban Capacities & Resources
• Empowered & Legitimate Political Representation
• Transparency, Accountability & Participation
 
Quality of life is a direct result of the City-Systems that underlie each of the four themes – invisible, complex and interrelated elements of laws, policies, institutional frameworks, and processes.  To fix the quality of life in our cities and towns, we need to therefore fix our City-Systems.

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