The need for having a dedicated lobbying and advocacy Centre in India stems from two fundamental realities:
(a) the changes and challenges in external environment resulting from a globalised world order and its impact on India, and
(b) the evolving internal needs of civil society in India. India has quickly integrated itself with the global world order, including the globalised economy which has thus resulted in India’s economy being more privatized and competitive. A fundamental shift has occurred in the way people are doing business.
As a result not only the rules of business have changed – that also continue to evolve in accordance with evolving business practices the world over; the structures and dynamics of governance are also developing in accordance with the dynamic world order and India’s role in it. Not all individuals have been able adapt to this fast paced change and growth within the country in the last couple of decades. In this changing socio-economic and political framework, large sections of the population remain uneducated, marginalized and excluded. The response of the civil society to this scenario has been mixed, ranging from co-option on one end of the spectrum to long drawn and sometimes impulsive advocacy campaigns.
This situation thus needs to be acknowledged and a new framework of relating to the State with innovative strategies to create lasting solutions to the problems and issues in human development needs to be encouraged. The lobby strategy is thus an attempt in this regard and it seeks to create a mutually win-win situation for both the civil society and the democratic institutions within the country.
Thus with this theory in mind, IPAC seeks to develop, build capacity and strengthen its partners ability to lobby and campaign for support to change the existing paradigms of inequities and necessitate a dialogue on ‘change’ – based on the experiences and the lessons learned through the work of its partners. Previously, there has been a lack of organizations in India to support and build capacities of the civil society to effectively use the instrument of “lobbying” to further their campaigns and movements. IPAC thus fills this void in order to support and encourage civil society organizations to consider lobbying as an important tool to achieve their goals.
In addition, IPAC now operates on an extended mandate to also use its own technical knowledge and skills on lobbying, policy research and advocacy to initiate campaigns for social change, focused on the three thematic areas, of its own accord.