AIACA: Interventions for Sustainable Livelihoods
(9 pages of text)
In 2003, the All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association (AIACA) was launched to explore new and commercially sustainable models of livelihood promotion for India’s vulnerable communities of craftworkers. The Indian handlooms and handicrafts, collectively referred to as the craft sector, symbolized the rich historical and cultural diversity that distinguished India from the rest of the world. The sector provided low-cost, “green” livelihood opportunities to millions of Indian families, supplementing their incomes in seasons of agrarian distress, checking migration, and preserving traditional economic relationships. The sector represented the economic lifeline of the most vulnerable sections of Indian society. AIACA took a unique approach towards stakeholder engagement by establishing partnerships with local non-governmental organizations, business enterprises, individual craftworkers, self-help groups, and government agencies. This level of co-operation produced effective advocacy and high-impact developmental work through multiplicative strategies, and the results were scalable and replicable in the context of informal sectors in transitioning economies. AIACA had spent a decade successfully designing and implementing livelihood interventions to help small-scale, family-managed businesses evolve into sustainable enterprises and innovative networks. The organization now needed to re-examine its approach and look for ways to deliver a deeper developmental impact.
This case is suitable for courses in graduate or short-duration programs on sustainable development. This case can also be used in a course on public policy or strategies for doing business in emerging markets with a focus on the role of non-governmental organizations. After completion of this case, students will be able to
- understand and appreciate the concerns and challenges faced by small producers due to a lack of institutions in the informal sector in developing economies;
- understand the nature of institutional voids, and various non-governmental organizations’ approach to effectively spotting and responding to the lack of institutions for building sustainable interventions; and
- understand AIACA’s approach to creating a scalable and sustainable social business model, while promoting sustainable livelihoods.
Social Advocacy Organizations
India, Small, 2003 to 2013
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