IFD21 Branch in India:
Foundation for Community Consensus
The path of the Institute to India began in July 2016. Until that time, the idea of Janecek method was only present in Europe and the USA.
start of activities in Asia
Indian students selected projects for their school budget
children engaged in decision-making for the first time
When Ankitha Cheerakathil started working for the company D21 (commercial sister organization of the Institute for Democracy 21), she envisioned expanding the vision of this method in India with the hope that it would be the first mark in Asia - a continent home to the world’s most diverse communities, cultures and ethnic groups.
The Indian branch of the Institute was registered in March 2018 in Delhi under the name Foundation for Community Consensus (FCC). Several projects and initiatives were successfully implemented even before this. This included School Participatory Budgeting (School PB) in government schools in Delhi and a project for engaging citizens in Bilaspur city (Chhattisgarh state) for framing the Smart City Proposal.
FCC is currently focusing on projects that engage youth, participation in schools as well as connecting citizens with their representatives in rural and urban areas.
The method of School Participatory Budgeting (School PB) was tested at Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV) in Hari Nagar in the western part of the capital city of India, Delhi. It is a model public school run by the Directorate of Education. The event took place from 13 November to 7 December 2017, attended by students from the 6th to the 11th grade. Their task was to decide on a winning project for which they used the school budget in the amount of 200,000 Indian rupees (around EUR 2,500).
In the first phase of the event, pupils from each class were asked to come up with a proposal for using the earmarked budget. Six of the best ideas were selected from each class, which then proceeded to the next round. In the next phase, the second round of discussions was held between students from different grades and voted on. The authors of the best class proposals were invited to present their proposals at a school assembly. A total of 11 ideas came out of this round that the school principal and steering committee members received for assessment. 8 projects passed the feasibility assessment, selected by 453 students by means of a special application for School PB. The school administration ultimately decided to divide up the funds among the first seven winning projects. This included construction of a small football pitch, solar panels, a botanical garden and installation of tablets enabling Internet access.
After the project finished, a survey was conducted, uncovering that 60 % of pupils consider the project beneficial and believe that it helped them develop leadership skills. Meanwhile, 93 % of pupils wished to repeat the event, and 85 % admitted that for the first time in their lives, they felt like they could take part in deciding on changes within their school.