IBP has partnered and supported budget advocacy in India for more than 15 years. From 2018-2022, we fostered powerful coalitions to improve access to critical government programs meant for Dalit and Adivasi communities. Together we improved access to scholarships for university students, alternative employment opportunities and other support for manual scavengers, and assistance to fight malnutrition.
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Budget Oversight




Initiatives in India


students received tertiary scholarships.


manual scavenger households received COVID relief supplies.

Eighth grade female students in a mathematics class, Darbhangha, Bihar, India / Paula Bronstein/Getty Images/Images of Empowerment
SPARK initiative

India’s Adivasi and Dalit students


In India, the caste system has exacerbated inter-generational poverty and systemic exclusion of Adivasis and Dalits. While the Indian Constitution recognized these injustices and put plans in place to set aside funds and programs to redress these wrongs. But these programs remain underfunded and unaccounted for. With our support, the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) switched up its strategy and trained a group of student leaders on budget and advocacy skills to make changes in the student scholarship system.

Impacts to date:
  • Supported 4,802 scholarship applications in three states and worked with the government to simplify the process so more students could apply.
  • Secured the government’s release of more than $870 million USD in scholarship arrears and an infusion of an additional $90 million USD in 2021-22 in Andhra Pradesh, benefitting 900,000 students.
  • Gathered a broad alliance of civil society organizations to convince the government to scrap budget cuts to the scholarship program and instead increase its allocation to $4.8 billion USD.
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This is the first time I’ve participated in training that taught us how to understand budgets. Now I am able to link the budget of the government to my scholarship so that I, and others like me, can get scholarships to continue studying.

Abhishek, 12th grade student, Jharkhand Tweet
Adivasi children at school in Assam, India
Adivasi children at school in Assam, India
The #SavePMS campaign pressured the national government to allocate $4.8 billion USD for scholarships for 40 million Dalit and Adivasi students over five years starting in 2021
SPARK initiative

India’s Adivasi and Dalit communities


With our help, partner Safai Karamchari Andolan (SKA), a group of 4,800 volunteers who are committed to ending the practice of hiring Dalit people to manually clean public and private toilets, distributed COVID relief supplies to 1,000 households across four states (Delhi, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh). This effort is part of SKA’s campaign to boost the leadership and agency of women manual scavengers to demand what they are entitled to under law and to advocate for better implementation of government programs.

We also helped our partner SATHI to work with village groups, civil society groups and frontline health workers to identify the challenges behind poor implementation of the Amrut Aahaar Yojana program that the Maharashtra state created to address malnutrition among the tribal districts of Thane, Raigad and Gadchiroli.

Our work in India reaches back to 2010 when we helped the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) shine a light on corruption linked to the Commonwealth Games that year. The government admitted that INR 7.44 billion in resources slated to go to the Dalit community were diverted to the games and eventually redirected much of that money back to the Dalit community.

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Featured Network Members

Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ)

Partnership Initiative
+91 11 26535203|26536163 | 26511425

National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR)

Partnership Initiative

Sanket Centre for Budget Studies (SCBS)

+91 755 246 8050 | +91 755 242 0404

Budget Analysis Rajasthan Centre (BARC)

+91 141 238 5254 | +91 141 238 5240
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