ACTED has been working in India since 2006. Active in vulnerable areas of North East India, in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, and Nagaland, ACTED works to facilitate local authorities and service providers in increasing and improving access to information of public schemes and initiatives in backward districts, right down to the village level.
India has experienced considerable growth in recent years. Yet, despite steady improvements in human development, the country still faces particularly high rates of poverty and inequality. Persistent inequality is particularly reflected in the development issues of the country’s most marginalized groups. This includes the most remote rural populations, women and other socially excluded groups. Populations of the backward North-East region are particularly affected. The North-East region of India is hemmed in between Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and China, remotely away from the rest of the country, both geographically as well as culturally.
Moreover, given its geographic location, the North-East region is most often excluded from policy making and out of the reach of mainstream service delivery. This results in lack of access to public services and higher rates of poverty for the local populations. In recognition of the development challenges in North-East India, the central government has special dispensations, whereby every major ministry spends 10% of its budgetary allocation mandatorily in the region. However, due to a variety of constraints, scheme implementation has failed to alleviate the rates of poverty: for this reason, ACTED’s work is focused on improving access to government schemes in this region.
Currently ACTED’s work focuses mostly on the most remote communities, women and socially excluded groups across North-East India. ACTED seeks to encourage a stronger link between the local populations and the central government, with the aim of improving the quality and coverage of public schemes. To this end, the teams are working to improve people’s access to qualitative and transparent information, and to increase dialogue and cooperation between the various stakeholders. The NGO strives to build the capacity of target groups and improving accountability by promoting the role of civil society as watchdogs.
Looking to the future and to ensure the legacy of ACTED’s work in the country, ACTED registered a local, non profit section 8 company called the Agency For Cooperation In Technical And Economic Development in 2016. The company’s objective is to support the most vulnerable populations of India and accompany them in the construction of a better future. More about the work of this organization can be found at Acted.co.in