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From 2009-2016, the Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACS) programme worked in seven of India's poorest States to help socially excluded communities to claim their rights and entitlements more effectively. In total, PACS worked with 225 Civil Society Organisation (CSO) partners, covering 90 districts, 517 blocks, 22,404 villages and 23,206 Community Based Organisations (CBOs).

Key themes

Whilst the overarching aim of the PACS programme was to address social exclusion, PACS projects focused on two main key themes:

Working to end social exclusion

PACS believed that chronic poverty in India is, to a large extent, caused by discrimination on the basis of group identity. In other words, social exclusion.

PACS also believed that civil society has a critical role to play in addressing social exclusion. However, it has limited capacity and is often less alert to social exclusion issues than it should be.

PACS therefore worked to strengthen civil society to address social exclusion by:

  • Providing grants to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to enable them to carry out projects that assist socially excluded people to claim their rights and entitlements. Find out more about the work of our CSO partners.
  • Providing training and capacity building support for these CSOs on issues ranging from financial management and legal literacy to social exclusion and communications. Find out more about our capacity building work.
  • Offering opportunities for networking, alliance-building, communication and joint advocacy. Find out more about our networking events.
  • Sharing learning by tracking the progress of the PACS programme and identifying and disseminating lessons learnt. Find out more on our Learning Zone.

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