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Home >> Case studies from the Indian Voluntary Sector >>Participatory Research in Asia

Participatory Research in Asia

About the organisation

PRIA is a civil society organisation, undertaking development initiatives to positively impact the lives and improve the quality of living of marginalised and excluded sections of the society. It works on themes of governance, people's participation, empowerment and local level development issues. It undertakes capacity building of stakeholders by organising training and educational programmes. Participatory methodologies including participatory research, analysis, grassroots action and evaluation are the cornerstone of PRIAs work. Working at district, state, national and global levels, it conducts research studies enabling it to undertake advocacy efforts. Based on its development experiences PRIA publishes a range of educational cum academic publications, which includes books, manuals, journals and other learning resources for voluntary organisations, NGOs, students, teachers, academic institutions, government, community groups and others.

The PRIA Board

  1. The two critical factors that have determined the structure, process and the functionality expectations of the PRIA Board include Board size and the organisational growth stage.
  2. In the initial years of the organisation, the Board was more hands on with a greater involvement in programme.
  3. It has subsequently transitioned into long -term strategy and policy formulation.
  4. This has required the Board to simultaneously look at structure and composition issues and ensure its appropriateness to the organisation at a given point in time and context.
  5. There is a conscious profiling of Board needs periodically which precedes shortlisting of appropriate candidates.
  6. However, individuals who do not know PRIA even if potentially competent are usually not invited to serve on the Board.
  7. There is ample room for discussion on why a particular individual is being considered to serve on the Board.
  8. Only those who actually can give their time and skill are asked to serve on the Board. ‘Ceremonial’ Board members are often more of a liability and it takes enormous effort to engage them adequately and appropriately. Therefore PRIA tends to avoid inviting such people on Board.
  9. Induction is informal since members are usually those who know PRIA already. New Board members are sent a copy of the Memorandum as well as the minutes of the two most recent Board meetings.
  10. The Board in PRIA works through the easy use of both structured and informal sub committees- these are task dependent and sometimes created just for the duration of the task. Where necessary experts are invited to volunteer their time on the sub committee for the duration of the task/activity
  11. Board meetings are therefore often a culmination of the various sub committee meetings that have been held and the time is spent mostly ratifying decisions and discussing long term policy.
  12. Senior Staff is invited to attend at least one Board meeting ANNUALLY especially when discussions on programme and policy are scheduled in the agenda.
  13. In general access of staff to the Board is through the CEO and the lines of authority are clear. All communication is open and transparent
  14. In general the Board does not involve itself in the day to day operations of the organisation. However, some members do offer specific inputs on certain programme related activities.
  15. The role of the Chair has been significant to the achievement of a proactive and supportive Board
  1. Confidence of the Chair in the CEO is mandatory to ensure positive Board dynamics as well as enabling the CEO to carry out his responsibilities smoothly.
  2. This has been made possible with the CEO investing time to engage with the Chair , communicating optimally between Board meetings and keeping the Chair informed about any significant developments within the organisation.
  3. There is an articulated Conflict Of interest policy that is mandated in PRIA’s legal documents

PRIA may be contacted at

42, Tuglakabad Institutional Area New Delhi – 110062 Tel: 29956908, 29960931/32/33