What we do

A voluntary citizens’ initiative emerged in 1990-91 as a forum for discussion and action on issues impacting Bangalore, its development and future. The initiative became a registered non-profit charitable trust, Citizens’ Voluntary Initiative for the City of Bangalore (CIVIC Bangalore), in 1992. Realizing decentralization in the urban context, through the implementation of the 74th Constitutional Amendment, has been our aim.  Our aim has not been to supplement or supplant government services but to make the government deliver on its promises to the people.  We have worked with the state and local governments and the general public, advocating for the desired changes. By focusing on democracy, decentralization and public participation, our activities promote good governance, inclusiveness, and improvement of service delivery.

In the last 6 years, given the growing disparities in the City, our focus has been on the urban poor.  The main tools used by CIVIC to improve service delivery encompass transparency, awareness building and empowerment of the community through the Right to Information, accountability through public interactions with officials for grievance reddressal and advocacy for systemic changes through public hearings, while acknowledging the procedures to be followed by the government itself.

At the slum level, CIVIC has produced IEC material and conducted awareness programmes, grievance reddressal meetings, action research and public hearings for the urban poor on five rights: the rights to food, water, health, education, livelihood and welfare schemes.

At the ward level, our focus has been on bringing all sections of society, including the urban poor, on a common platform to plan, budget, and audit the ward programme of works of the BBMP and those of other line departments.

We have been directing our experience and learning at the grassroots to feedback into policy change at the state and the city level to ensure the relevant integration of correction measures at city level. Further, to ensure an up-scaling of our intervention at the grassroots, given the experience and learning at the slum and ward level, we will, while still maintaining our grassroots presence,  through partners, focus significantly on policy advocacy and campaigning at the  state and the city level.


To ensure the continuity of the work started during the previous cycle, the overall goal of the present project is to “Facilitate better service delivery to the urban poor, in terms of access, participation and quality, with increased transparency and accountability”.

Our Vision

A world where every urban citizen is empowered to fully participate in governance to achieve a decent quality of life in an equitable society.

Our Mission

To be a platform for multiple stakeholders to achieve decentralized participatory local governance for a more inclusive, equitable and socially just urban space.

Core objectives

Objective1:  Promote pro-poor measures in service delivery.

Objective 2: Increase transparency and accountability in service delivery to the urban poor.

Objective 3: Strengthen processes of decentralization to enable urban poor to participate in city governance.

Approach principles

The rights based approach is centred on:

  • Empowering citizens and communities, especially the poor, to assert their rights and entitlements as poor residents of cities, unorganised sector workers, as women and children from the marginalised communities.Using the Right to Information (RTI) and Citizens’ Charters of service agencies to enable the urban poor to access their rights.
  • Strengthening the implementation of the 74th CA to ensure social justice to sections of strata living in the cities.