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DAWN (Development Alternatives for Wider Network) was conceived in 1988 by a group of social researchers with a vision to bridge the gap between research and grass root level action. Registered in 1992-93, the professional group of DAWN is drawn from multi disciplines. The field workers recruited from concerned communities provide a vital link between the organization and the people. DAWN team started working with informal unorganized poor of rural and urban areas of Orissa through spontaneously emerging self-reliant people’s organization. We believe in and profess to be a non-hierarchal, non- religious, non-political organization. It is an equal opportunities organization and will not consciously perpetuate direct or indirect discrimination on the basis of gender, caste, class etc. The organization is decentralized in character, in terms of authority and decision-making process with balanced degree of centralization to encourage accountability and transparency. We endeavor to be gender sensitive in terms of work culture having major percentage women at management, co-ordination, and operational levels.
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Why Alternative Development for Wider Network?
DAWN (Development Alternatives for Wider Network) was conceived in 1988 by a group of social researchers with a vision to bridge the gap between research and grass root level action. Registered in 1992-93, the professional group of DAWN is drawn from multi disciplines. The field workers recruited from concerned communities provide a vital link between the organization and the people. DAWN team started working with informal unorganized poor of rural and urban areas of Orissa through spontaneously emerging self-reliant people’s organization. We believe in and profess to be a non-hierarchal, non- religious, non-political organization.
The Alliance :

Group/Women Self Help Groups (WSHG) in rural areas. Mahila Jagruti (MJ)/ WSHG is a network of women collective organized around daily activity of savings and crisis credit. Orissa/West Bengal Slum Dwellers Federation (OSDF) works around the activity of survey, planning and construction processes for the urban poor and federating them at city and state level.

Our Focus/Aim :
Together we (DAWN/MJ/OSDF/WSHG) aim to create the institutional arrangements, which mobilize large numbers of the urban and rural poor and to support and strengthen their organization. The overall goal of these community-driven organizations is to become an important part of the system so that the poor can directly participate in how the city is managed.
Our Structure/Roles and Objectives:

The roles of each member of this unique partnership are clearly defined. The federation of farmers group and slum communities organises and mobilises the rural and urban poor respectively and negotiates with resource providing institutions, Mahila Jagruti/Women self help groups support and train poor women’s collectives to administer and manage their community’s resources and participate in federation activities, and

DAWN provides the administrative, financial, policy and other supports necessary for these processes to be successful on the ground.

DAWN identifies its role mainly as a capacitor and facilitatorof establishing people’s processes as solution to issues encountered by all stakeholders e.g., community, government, NGO’s private parties, and donors.

Capacity building, and facilitation role of DAWN is mainly at the grass root level of People’s organization to empower the poor to initiate a process of finance management, delivery system, leadership, record maintenance, while organizing, mobilizing, federating them to provide solutions to city planners, authorities, NGOs etc.

Our track record :

Dawn initially started its work in rural/ tribal areas of Orissa mostly for forest and artisan communities and expanded its work towards Farmers communities with the idea of linking them to Government facilities. The women self help groups are mobilized organized and capacitated to support such farmers communities.

In the year 1998, DAWN entered into urban issues when the State government displaced about 1000 slum dwellers in the city of Bhubaneswar without any planned way. We mobilized the slum communities and helped them in occupying the specified area meant for family according to lay out prepared by the Government and achieve their basic amenities of drinking water, electricity and road etc We played a facilitation role in rehabilitating and resettling the slum dwellers of CDA Munda Sahi in the City of Cuttack with out any forced displacement.

As far as dawn’s experience in sanitation and housing is concerned there is immense need for sanitation in both Orissa and West Bengal cities and towns. Access to toilets by poor is scarce and hits worst to the women of these poor communities. People in densely populated areas have no option rather to resort to private toilet, which is expensive if paid on per use basis.. And the public toilets built by Government alone are not maintained or managed by community so mostly dirty and defunct. So partnership and community ownership to the toilets is vital to successful use and maintenance, which needs to be part of construction process. There are about 50 model houses 70seaters toilet blocks, which have been constructed by the DAWN/OSDF/MJ in its operational cities and towns. DAWN has organized, formed common interest group and accessed DRI loan for the construction of   800 houses with Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation for the slumdwellers of Bharatpur and Dumduma under BSUP of JNNURM.

We have carried out Socio-economic studies for the project affected persons of MGM Steels limited and CESC limited in the district of Dhenkanal .

Operational Area :

DAWN team works with the farmers’ communities of Narasingpur and Baramba area of Cuttack district. It also works for the slum dwellers in the cities of Cuttack, Bhubaneswar , Puri and Paradeep in Orissa.

The organisation is at present providing services about 1,00,000 population across seven cities (Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Paradeep, Puri in Orissa and Kolkata, Kalyani, Kona in West Bengal) and 45 villages in Baramba Block of Cuttack and Keonjhar district of Orissa.

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