IDFC Foundation

Transforming quality of Life in Indian cities and towns

An initiative meant to improve the quality of infrastructure and delivery of essential services in the Indian cities, leading to an improvement in the Human Development Index.

Quick Glance

By ensuring that the basic public services are easily accessible, Janaagraha essentially helps make cities a better place to live in.

It addresses the root cause of problems arising in the areas of health and sanitation, equality, environment and protection of national heritage, ensuring citizens have access to basic minimum quality of public infrastructure and services by transforming social infrastructure and service delivery in India’s towns and cities.

Envisioned Impact

  • map
    16 states covered
  • cities
    21 cities impacted
  • rupee
    35076 stakeholders
  • people
    80 million people
The thought

The Thought


Due to rapid unplanned growth, several cities are facing problems like poor sanitation, pollution, and lack of clean drinking water. Simply tackling the outcome of these problems is more of a temporary fix; the root cause behind these problems should be solved first. Janaagraha aims to find out what these root causes are, figure out the solutions for them and connect with government as well as key decision makers to effectively implement them. Quote

The Approach

Our collaboration with Janaagraha to foster development entails that they collect data for their Annual Survey of India’s City- Systems (ASICS). The ASICS Report, is a comprehensive diagnostic of the state of India’s city-systems based on Janaagraha’s City-Systems framework. It is intended to serve as a bellwether of the degree and direction of systemic reforms being undertaken by the government in respect of cities. ASICS is Janaagraha’s flagship advocacy initiative and will form the cornerstone of the intervention’s engagement strategy with decision makers.

Envisioned Impact

This intervention over 3 years will cover a study of 16 states - 21 cities with a coverage of 80 million people. The three year strategy covers conducting round tables, publishing city system reports and advocating with the government to adopt the transformational blueprint and implement reforms in municipal finance and staffing.

The impact arising out of the above is also likely to cover quality of infra and services in respect of the following areas, for the above population:

Improving municipal services

  • Better quality of municipal services covering
  • better mobility (roads, footpaths etc.),
  • better sanitation facilities in the form of public toilets and garbage management,
  • environment sustainability measures comprising better walkability of streets, lower air and noise pollution levels

Economy changes

  • IMore robust management and growth of city economy, basis improved financial management of municipalities

Equity changes

  • Improved equity outcomes, based on both better planning frameworks and improved service delivery by municipalities

Achievements till Date

  • No. of stakeholders reached – 35076.
  • No. of articles & citations in media: 247
  • No. of States signed up for reforms: 4
  • Published 2 city Systems report
  • Conducted 9 workshops & roundtables
  • Engagements with:
  • • Government of Rajasthan on Municipal Finance
  • • Government of Delhi on Mohalla Sabhas
  • • NITI Aayog on preparation of 15 year Vision Document on Urban Transformation
  • • Chief Economic Adviser on ASICS in Economic Survey 16-17
  • • Govt of Karnataka on the Bengaluru Blueprint Action Group
  • • Dr. Shashi Tharoor on a private Member Bill to amend 74th CAA

About Janaagraha

Janaagraha is a not-for-profit organisation based in Bangalore that works on city-system transformation. Founded in 2001 as a platform for citizen participation in decision making, the organisation now works actively to create reforms in various Indian cities and states. It is a part of the Jana group and holds other organisations like Janalakshmi (a micro- finance company), Janaadhar (an affordable housing company) and Jana Urban Space Foundation (a non-profit organisation specially focused on spatial planning and design).

Learn more about them here

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