Oxfam is celebrating its 67th year of humanitarian service in India. In 1951, Oxfam Great Britain launched its first full scale humanitarian response to the Bihar famine. In the past six decades Oxfam has supported civil society organisations across the country. In 2008, various Oxfams in India joined forces to form Oxfam India. Registered as an independent organisation, Oxfam India has indigenous staff and board members. We are a member of the global confederation of 19 Oxfams.
Oxfam India’s vision is to help create an equal, just and sustainable society by empowering the underprivileged. Oxfam India believes in the ‘Right to Life with Dignity for All’. This is fulfilled by engaging empowered citizens to become active and supportive partners, advocating an effective and accountable State and making markets work for the underprivileged.
‘We see poverty as a problem of power, the lack of power.’ We work with 60 NGOs at the grassroots’ level to tackle poverty and inequality where it germinates. Our programmes are currently active in the critical states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. We work with the most marginalised segments – Dalits, Tribals, Muslims, and Women. For them, poverty is more than lack of income, healthcare and education. It is a crippling state where these groups do not have any control in deciding the course of their own lives. They are excluded from basic decision-making rights.
Oxfam address this problem with a “Rights Based Approach”. We see people as the bearers of civil, political and social, and economic rights. Institutions, both State and non-state, are seen as duty bound to guarantee those rights to the people. Our effort is to bring a change in people's lives through State and Institutional Accountability; Civil Society Participation; Empowering the Poor to Use Public Resources and Increased Social Inclusion of the Marginalised.
We are committed to five rights: Right to Sustainable Livelihood; Right to Social Services; Right to Life and Security; Right to be Heard and Right to an Identity.
1: Livelihood More women and men will realise their right to secure and sustainable livelihoods.
2: Fight for women More women will lead a violence-free life. This can be achieved through changes in attitudes and beliefs about gender relations and through encouraging women's engagement and assuming leadership in institutions and decision-making roles.
3: Education and Health People living in poverty, especially women and, girls will realise their right to accessible and affordable healthcare, education, clean water and sanitation.
4: Human Rights Those facing a humanitarian crisis will be assured the protection and the assistance they need, regardless of who they are, where they live or how they are affected.
Oxfam works primarily through grassroots organisations to bring deep-rooted sustainable changes in people’s lives. We do this through long-term development programming and link it to positive policy changes at various levels. We work for the socially excluded and most marginalised communities by mobilising them to campaign for greater economic and social reforms. We use our learnings about what works and what doesn’t at the grassroots level, through research and advocacy, to bring about pro-poor changes in policies and institutions.
The new Oxfam India partnership policy envisages both funding and non-funding partnerships with a range of development actors: grassroots NGOs, academic institutions, research think tanks, national and global advocacy NGOs.
The proposed patterns of funding relationship include: