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Center for the Development of Human Initiatives (CDHI):Evaluation-It is a collective initiative of some of the professionals working for the erstwhile Indo-Dutch Project – North Bengal Terai Development Project (NBTDP) in North Bengal. The team, led by Professor Rajeshwar Mishra, a professor of Social Psychology and comprising, initially, of Subrata Majumdar and Benu Kanta Dey firmly decided to stay back in the region even after NBTDP had to formally conclude. Other members of the team gradually became part of CDHI following a strategy of broad basing the responsibility. They wished to use their long experience of working with the communities and local development agencies, including the Panchayat, to evolve further agenda and work with the local community to respond to the issues of development and marginalization. In this endeavor the local administration led by the then District Magistrate and UNICEF came forward and encouraged to go ahead with our resolve. We were challenged to work in the most difficult areas and prove their credentials and expertize. Consequently, we explored the hilly terrain of Buxa together with the district administration led by Subrata Gupta, the then District Magistrate, and UNICEF led by the then state representative Ms.Carrie Aur, Sulagna Roy and Mr. Rajiva Sinha. We were able to evolve a contextually compatible development agenda for the region. Our journey began with opening of 16 village schools in the region with local youths as the teachers. Our work in Buxa attracted several others who wanted us to collaborate with them in their programs. CARE West Bengal and Department of Panchayat and Rural Development (P&RD), Government of West Bengal invited us to support their Self-help group formation and capacity building. CDHI believes and follows the tenet of collective leadership gradual renewal of leadership responsibilities through democratic process. One can see the reflection of the tenet in the gradual change of executive and membership. Local level capacity development is our motto.
Working over the period trying various approaches CDHI is, currently, focused on education, technology transfer and livelihoods. Gender is the cross cutting theme and is reflected in our governance and programmatic priorities. Research is another cross cutting sphere with emphasis over building and encouraging grass roots researches through local team of researchers.
CDHIhas a balanced team of professionals –a social scientist and professor of social psychology, management experts, engineers, water technology experts, gender specialist, design experts, bio-diversity experts and teachers. Then there are resource persons representing the above fields who are too willing to support CDHI. Proficient support staff from finance and management keeps the affairs of CDHI smoothly going. We have a reasonably sound infrastructure and logistics comprising of a spacious campus, transport system and hired offices at different locations.
CDHI has a reasonably functional infrastructure and logistics. It has its own campus, vehicles and transport, gadgets and tools which offer CDHI an enviable position in the region.
CDHI’s vision is a self-initiated inclusive society with appropriate and adequate capacity and agency with freedom to evolve its priorities and tools to attend its priorities and accomplish what it wishes to accomplish.
CDHI's activities are organized by a team of individuals with different orientation and capacities. The team performs governance and program functions with manageable interface.