Local Democracy and Welfare Entitlements: Theory, Policy, and Practice March 2024 Batch

Designed to extend knowledge and understanding of the key issues related to local democracy to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) of India.

The course explores the theory, policy and practice of local democracy in India, with a focus on Gram Panchayats and Gram Sabha. Participants will be provided a holistic overview of various ideas and policies that has informed India’s local democracy initiatives. Then the field experience of various issues related to local democracy such as participatory planning, poverty alleviation, empowerment of women and Dalits will be discussed. Case studies of successful collaboration between local governments and Civil Society Organizations will be highlighted. Finally, the participants will be guided to develop their own vision and projects related to strengthening of local democracy in their respective field areas.

The course will be offered from 4 March, 2024 to 15 March, 2024, face to face in Bangalore.
It’s divided into seven themes as shown along with a field visit and a way forward for the participants to plan their work in future. The themes cover the theoretical foundation, policy perspectives and dominant field realities, and major exceptions and good practices.

ContentNumber of sessions
Concepts and TheoriesThree
Panchayati Raj: Evolution, Structure & MandateTwo
Panchayat Planning – Evolution and Good PracticesThree
Democratic Governance in Forests and 5th Schedule areasThree
Rights and Welfare- concepts and policiesTwo
Facilitated Sessions on Civil Society EngagementsFour
Exemplars and InnovationsTwenty
Field Visits and ReflectionsThree
Way Forward for CSOsTwo

Who should attend?

The course is designed and intended for Civil Society Organizations who are working or are interested in working on local democracy issues in rural forest and PESA areas. The course is best experienced by a minimum of two development practitioners from one organisation. The design of the course is aimed at mid to senior-level staff of the organisations having a minimum of seven years of experience.

Eligibility and selection

All applicants are expected to represent their organisation. A minimum of two participants from each organisation should participate. All applicants must possess a working knowledge of English. Applicants will be shortlisted based on their applications and telephonic interviews.


Last date for applying

Selected candidates will be informed about the payment process

Last day for fee payment

The course will be transacted in a mix of English and Hindi. It shall utilize published texts, videos and class presentations followed by interactive classroom sessions to explore the issues that will be discussed. The course will be conducted face-to-face only. Course materials will be available in Hindi and English.

The participants will be awarded a Certificate of Participation after successfully attending all the days and submitting assignments.

For registration, please click here

For further queries, please write to: localdemocracy.​development@​apu.​edu.​in

Azim Premji University was established as a not-for-profit, private university under the Azim Premji University Act 2010. The University has a clear social purpose of working towards a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society. Azim Premji University plays a critical role in developing new talent, building capacity in existing functionaries and creating domain knowledge in the fields of education and development. The Azim Premji Foundation is the sponsor of the University. The roots of Azim Premji University lie in the learning and experience of a decade of work in elementary education by Azim Premji Foundation. The University is one of the Foundation’s key responses to the challenges confronting the education and development sectors in India. To know the programmes offered at our University, click here.

The course will be anchored by Ashok Kumar Sircar and Debraj Bhattacharya. Faculty members will be drawn from the Azim Premji University, Philanthropy and from a pool of noted resource persons from around the country.

Course Faculty

Fee Structure

INR 15000(including GST) For Individuals
INR 1180(including GST) For partner organizations of the Azim Premji Foundation
INR 4320(Including GST) Accommodation Fee

Food: Breakfast and meals are available at the cafeteria on direct payment basis.
Approximately Rs. 300/- can suffice for a breakfast and two meals per person per day.