SOCIETY FOR THE PROMOTION OF AREA RESOURCE
About the organisation
SPARC was founded in 1984 to create new and
innovative partnerships with communities of the poor and
professionals who wish to work with them on issues of social
justice and equity. SPARC believes that the poor must be
organised, and in order to sustain this, it is they who need
to develop skills. Hence it becomes essential to create a
physical, emotional and social space for people to pool their
human resources and facilitate learning. SPARC works both
independently as well with partners by striking strategic
Services are in the area of housing and
infrastructure and savings and credit. All activities involve
the community right from the stage of needs enumeration,
conceptualisation, planning and implementation. Also, SPARC
addresses issues of gender and destitution in children
proactively through concerted efforts in both areas.
The SPARC Board
The SPARC Board was constituted by the coming together of
a group of individuals who shared a common vision.
- It was a
‘board of peers’ – people who were supportive of the
founder’s initiative and vision and who believed in
creative freedom as the key to building a successful
organisation. This continues to be the spirit in the Board
- The Board has evolved today to include both individuals
who have been associated with the organisation right from
the beginning as well as newer members who have been taken
on to add to the changing requirements of skill and
expertise as the organisation has grown
- One of the FUNDAMENTAL requirements that SPARC Board
members need to have is their ability to understand
‘risk’ in the context of the work that the
- Therefore all Board members are able to be supportive of
decisions that are taken from the perspective of
‘what’s best for the community’ rather than adopt an
approach that maybe purely ‘textbook’ in terms of good
practice or be relevant to other organisations.
- The Board also is extremely ‘critiquing’ in its role
and there is an active discussion on all matters relating
to policy and long-term strategy.
- The Board ensures that it is always kept abreast of any
developments and is proactively interested in ensuring
members are well informed.
- A lot of this happens naturally since the Board is
encouraged to engage with all stakeholders , staff and the
community and communication is open and transparent.
- This engagement has been helpful in keeping the Board
enthusiastic and interested in the activities of the
organisation; and has helped members develop perspectives
that reflect ‘bottom up’ accountability and
- Trusting the CEO and mutual trust amongst the Board are
key to the effectiveness of the SPARC Board and this has
also been instrumental in socializing new members easily.
- The lines of authority between the CEO and the Board as
well as between the CEO and the management are very clear
and the Board does not micromanage
- The effective functioning of the Board is NOT an end in
itself. It is only relevant in the context of the
organisation’s work and how effective the organisation
is in delivering on its mission. The Board is acutely
aware of this as is the management in SPARC .
SPARC may be contacted at
Khetwadi first lane, Mumbai
022 - 2386 5053 /2385 8785