The Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) of Delhi has partnered with Reap Benefit Foundation to strengthen citizen engagement and harness the power of community participation to resolve critical environmental and civic challenges in Delhi. By leveraging the enthusiasm, resourcefulness and power of Delhi’s communities, DDC aims to realise the Kejriwal Government’s vision of making Delhi a modern, equitable and sustainable city before 2047, the 100th year of India’s independence.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between DDC and Reap Benefit Foundation today in the presence of Shri Jasmine Shah, Vice Chairperson of DDC Delhi. Through this strategic partnership, the Delhi Government’s policy think tank will develop safe, meaningful and innovative opportunities and platforms through which citizens and communities will be able to join hands with the Delhi Government.
With the understanding that achieving such an ambitious vision requires deep, sustained collaboration between the government, private sector and civil society, DDC fostered partnerships with private sector/CSR initiatives and philanthropic organizations in the first phase through its flagship ‘Delhi@2047’ initiative. In the second phase of implementation, DDC will explore ways to enable citizens and RWAs to enhance the civic and environmental sustainability measures implemented by the government.
Jasmine Shah, Vice Chairperson, DDC Delhi said, “Citizen participation is the pulse of testing a government’s commitment to democratic values. Leveraging civic participation has been at the core of the Kejriwal model of governance in Delhi — be it for fighting dengue, reducing air pollution through using Green Delhi App or organising Raahgiri, fighting against Covid pandemic, introducing participatory budgeting practices etc. — these are all glorious examples of how civic engagement can greatly enhance environmental sustainability measures implemented by the government.
DDC is committed to enable every Delhi resident to not only identify local challenges and issues, but also become a part of the solution. It has always been DDC’s priority to foster dialogue with communities, to provide them with the right tools and platforms, to drive meaningful change within their communities, and to ensure that their voices are heard while developing policies for Delhi. This partnership is an excellent opportunity for us to strengthen our ability to engage with a large number of communities and citizens in Delhi to ensure that we design people-centric governance processes.”
Kuldeep Dantewadia, co-founder, Reap Benefit Foundation, said, “We are very excited about Delhi Government’s resolve to create a vibrant community of citizens engaged in building Delhi into a world class city. With an ideology rooted in action, we look forward to engaging all Delhi residents in taking small but meaningful actions to build their civic muscle and start addressing local civic and climate issues in their neighbourhood.”
One of the main focus areas of DDC Delhi’s work is to promote participatory governance by establishing platforms for bridging the gap between the government and citizens. Reap Benefit Foundation, in the past 8 years, has worked with 52,000 plus citizens who have transformed themselves and worked to improve their neighbourhoods. The partnership will enable Reap Benefit Foundation to bring their expertise of engaging citizens to become action-based participants in transforming their local surroundings.