What will the proposed platform be like?

It is still to evolve, but the following principles will be followed. It will certainly be inclusive and bottom up thereby ensuring that there is coherence, internal democracy, and full space for the local genius. The terms and other conditions would need to be evolved collectively. However, they would be democratic and widen the leadership pool so that the responsibility of expanding the initiative does not fall on one person or organisation for too long.

We hope to have at least one member in each taluk/block within the next five years--that would mean about 6000 annual fee paying member organisations, which is a very small percentage of the registered organisations in the country. However, we will be doing some purposive networking, and getting other geographic and thematic networks on board.

Initially the task is to identify state anchors, whose primary responsibility is to identify district anchors in all the districts of the state within a year. These district anchors in turn, will identify taluk anchors. The taluk anchors would ensure that all the organisations in the taluk/block become part of the network within a year.

A similar process could be followed for both the geographic and thematic organisations.

As of 4 January 2014 (at the end of the Karnataka state summit), these are some of the thoughts:

I Name

  1. The name will be Civil Society Coalition (CSC).
  2. Each state can prefix or suffix the name of the state (eg: CSC-Karnataka).
  3. The name will be the same across languages.
  4. At the national level it will be Federation of CSCs.

II Membership

  1. Membership is restricted to (registered) organisations (under Societies Registration Act, Trusts Act, Sec 25 Companies Act)
  2. Organisations whose board members are office bearers of a political party or on the board of a company are not eligible (subject to condition below).
  3. A 'membership committee' will consider requests of organisations coming under 'b' and decide on a case by case basis.

III Membership fee Membership fee will be annual and budget linked.

  1. Total budget less than Rs 10,00,000 (10 Lakhs per annum) Membership fee Rs 500.
  2. Total budget Rs 10-50 lakhs Annual membership fee Rs 1000.
  3. Total budget Rs 50 lakhs to 1 Crore Annual membership fee Rs 5000.
  4. Total budget above Rs 1 Crore Annual membership fee Rs 10,000.

IV Participation (desirable, to evolve)

  1. A decision maker with the requisite mandate should represent the organisation.
  2. The same member from an organisation represent it at the Coalition.

V Sustainability and funding

  1. Norms need to be developed so that there is no dependency on any one donor.
  2. Membership fees should always form a substantial part of the organisational budget to promote ownership, engagement and accountability.
  3. Raising own resources should be a priority.
  4. Should lobby with the government for fixed, untied, long-term support with the clear understanding that our position on critical engagement will remain.
  5. The source of funding should at no time constrain us from speaking out of particular organization, including the government.

VI Norms and standards

  1. The coalition will evolve norms and standards for its members that match or exceed statutory norms.
  2. All members will be assisted (through internal capacity building and other processes) to meet these norms and standards. An enable them to grow their intuitions to pursue their mission.
  3. Multiple indices will track the progress towards meeting the norms and standards (financial, staff welfare, sustainability, inclusion, diversity etc)
  4. Collective mechanisms for adherence will be put in place. (For instance if the organisation is too small to have a committee against sexual harassment, one can be set up collectively. Similarly for staff welfare, fund-raising etc).
  5. Promote the culture of sharing of the ‘best practices of development’ for the growth the development sector, evolve norms that are unique to the development sector, and collectively work to influence system to adopt them.
  6. Unite for the common cause of the sector.