MD Speaks
As we step into December, the last month of 2013, IPE Global completes 15 years of existence. Started in 1998, we have grown from a 5 member team to 500 now - from a few small projects in a few Indian states to several large assignments in multiple countries. From an 'OK, let us give them a chance' to becoming the preferred partner for governance reform; from a small startup to a leading light of our sector.....

If we have managed to achieve all this, it has no doubt been because of the efforts of each one of you - because of the team we all make. I sincerely thank and compliment each one of you for your efforts that have made us what we are today!

This month, our wallpaper shows a 'sunset' - a regular and beautiful phenomenon of nature.

A sunset signals the end of the day just as December heralds the end of the year.

Each sunset is uniquely beautiful - so much that Mehmet Murat says, 'the sun itself watches it everyday in the reflection of the oceans...'

Each sunset brings sadness because of the passing of the day, as December does on passing of the year.

IPE Global has been working for 15 years now trying to make this world a better place - I am sure through all of you, we will continue to 'de-light' the world by our work and our lives.

But each sunset also reminds us that this is not the end - that it shall be followed by an even more beautiful sunrise!

Just as the sunset reflects in the oceans, let us end this year too on a note of reflection - what did we do well, what could we have done better? Even for IPE's 15 years let us ask ourselves - are we where we should have been? What other paths could we have taken? What more could we have done?

And then let us enjoy the sunset. Even as we await the beautiful sunrise that awaits us in 2014.

- Ashwajit Singh
Editorial

Dear *|FNAME|*
We beckon the end of the year and with this sunset, we hope for a new beginning; a beginning that provides a hope for an equitable world, where women are empowered to work in a safe and healthy environment. Our news of the month focuses on anti-sexual harassment policies, the oblivious nature posed by various organizations towards these policies and how various organizations across the development sector are coping with it. The article hopes to instill some food for thought and keep us all inspired to make the change.

- Rebika Laishram

News Of The Month
Law against Sexual Harassment at Workplace - A safe haven yet?

It is not another take on the firebrand magazine that failed to stand for the very issues it fought for. Neither it is a moral policing on the law intern nor the retired judge involved in the case. What we are trying to explore here is the brevity of the significance of sexual harassment cases in the country.

In India, the first need of law against sexual harassment was realized only16 years back. The law was enacted in April this year and the legislation became an official notification just a couple of days back. This reinstates the fact that on one hand, cases such as these have lived here, bred here and pestered the society for a long time; but provision for curbing such a menace is a fairly new concept for us.

The magazine, which actively covered the gang rape in the national capital in December 2012, admitted to not being equipped to deal with sexual harassment at the workplace. It admitted to have lacked an official process to address the issue, as mandated by the Supreme Court guidelines.

While large cooperate houses have often been questioned on their preparedness to handle issues of sexual harassment. On the other hand, the question of workplace safety issues in the development sector still seems to remain under carpets for most women and employers. Working in this sector often entails women to operate in very difficult terrains. Most of the women working with non-governmental organizations have to visit rural pockets for field work .In such working conditions, the absence of any mechanism to tackle the workplace sexual harassment, would only further compound the issue of women’s safety. Statistics suggest that there are an estimated 3.3 million NGOs in India. It is indeed a staggering number. Even if we can ensure the safety of women in 3.3 million NGOs, it could prove to be an exemplar for many other organizations. It would be an irony if those of us engaged in the social sector that propagate on women’s empowerment; take a lackadaisical attitude against creating its own safe work place environment.

The Apex Court has mandated the Vishaka Guidelines that enjoin employers by holding them responsible for providing safe work environment for women. These guidelines call for both proactive and reactive measures. Before even pointing out to the bigger corporates, the social sector has to ensure that policies are well formulated and reporting processes are clearly carved out. Few of us may accuse the larger players in the market of not having the will to stand up for the cause. But they definitely have the capacity to deal with it. Is our sector willing to capacitate the smaller organizations and help make the larger change?

Although, internationally or nationally renowned not-profit organizations are equipped to tackle safety issues, this could still be a very daunting task for smaller NGOs where Human Resource systems are yet to be strengthened. The challenge lies in creating awareness of rights among women working in the grass-root level who are educationally ill-equipped and more vulnerable. Creating a favorable working environment for women in the development sector could lead to one step closer in enabling progressive workplaces. The recent cases are a wake-up call to reinstate the very essence of the development. It should clearly not be a space that preaches and does not practice.

IPE Global Corner

The Hindustan Times talks about IPE Global’s project with SDMC

Our project “Design & Management Consultancy of Sanitation Systems in Central, South, Nazafgarh and West Zones of South Corporation” was covered in The Hindustan Times. Click here to read the full article.

Odisha Girl’s Incentive Programme gets featured in The Hindu

“Cash transfer scheme for girls helps curb poverty in Odisha’’ talks about the Odisha Girl’s Incentive Programme and its impact. The story has also included Mr Ashwajit Singh’s comments in..... Click here.

Workshop co-organized by IPE Global receives coverage

A workshop titled “Current issues and solutions for better management of the sanitation system in Delhi” was organized in partnership with IPE Global and MSN INFRA Read the coverage of ...... Click here

Report Rallies

World Bank releases new report on climate change, global warming

World Bank has released a new report –On Thin Ice: How Cutting Pollution can slow Warming and save lives. Click here

No Health without workforce:
World Bank

This report is intended to inform proceedings at the Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health and to inform a global audience and trigger momentum for action.Click here

Development News Clocked This Month

53% Indian households defecate in open: World Bank

Currently, more than 2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to toilets, one billion people practice open defecation and 600 million in India openly... Click here

Autonomous body may now audit water usage

An autonomous body — Bureau of Water Use Efficiency – will devise a mechanism of "water audit" for various users, including industries and civic bodies across the... Click here

No social pressure to curb foeticide

All the campaigns against female foeticide have not lessened the preference for a male child in the city. Important social stakeholders have chosen to remain ... Click here

AID ROUNDUP

Bangladesh gets $90 mn aid for education programme

Bangladesh and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a loan agreement worth $90 million to overhaul the South Asian country's secondary...Click here

Jica provides Rs 829 cr loan to Tamil Nadu

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed an agreement with India for providing up to Rs 829 crore (13 billion Yen) loan for the Tamil Nadu Investment... Click here

India pledges over $11 million to United Nations bodies for 2014

India has contributed over $11 million to various UN bodies for development activities for the year 2014. India's pledges of contributions...Click here

 
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