CUTS Centre for Consumer Action, Research & Training (CUTS CART) is a leader research and advocacy group undertaking a range of activities in the area of in-depth research, evaluation, advocacy, capacity building and awareness generation on different issues of development like environment, health, education, sustainable livelihood, administrative reforms, quality implementation of public oriented various schemes/programmes, decentralisation of financial and administrative powers etc.
The Centre is actively involved in multi-pronged interventions, where the impact directly lies on the public. It has a track record of developing long-term collaborative partnerships with Government and other agencies from within and outside the country, and as an organisation, it is firmly committed to meet development needs uniquely and innovatively. Its programmes are aimed towards meeting the changes in Government policies through research and advocacy in the area of consumer education and protection, investor education and protection, good governance, utility reforms and sustainable mobility. It believes in collaborative approach with Government to change the governance system.
‘To enable consumers, particularly the poor and the marginalized to achieve their right to basic needs, sustainable development and good governance through strong consumer movement’
Areas of Expertise
- An active research focus that has established a track record of obtaining competitive research grants from various international organisations.
- Able to develop and present a range of tailored training and professional education modules for Government and other development agencies.
- Capable of providing consultancy in the use of Citizen Report Card (CRC), Community Score Card (CSC), Participatory Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS), Budget Analysis and other tools of social accountability and Right to Information (RTI), Consumer Impact Assessment (CIA) etc.
- Possesses in-depth knowledge and resources to provide consultancy in the field of consumer protection and education, investor protection and education and utility reforms.
- In a position to develop the traffic calming strategies.
- Participates as a Jury Member in evaluation committee for Rajeev Gandhi National Quality Awards representing as a consumer organization
- Successfully established Consumer Information Cell (CIC)at its office, which handles complaints, in addition to providing advisory services to consumers through direct counseling or via e-mail and telephone.
- Organises workshops as part of the Securities and Market Awareness Campaign (SMAC) in Rajasthan and also investor education programmes.
- Along with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) executed a programme entitled, ‘Involvement of Consumers in Power Sector Reforms’ in Rajasthan, in August 2001, all the 3 phases of which completed successfully. Currently the Centre is working as a project partner in a project entitled, ‘Capacity Building on Electricity Reforms in Bangladesh, India and Nepal’ (RESA) to build capacity of civil society on electricity reforms
- Succeeded in introducing transparency, accountability and participatory approach in formulation of the state budget through building understanding of the poor rural masses through a three-year (1999-2003) project titled ‘Promoting State Accountability and Citizens Empowerment through Budget Analysis’ in active support with the Ford Foundation, New Delhi.
- Successfully implemented a project on Rational Use of Drugs in 2005, supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in several states of India through survey, interview and meetings. The focus of the study was to check and curb the tendency of over-prescription by doctors and also to make people and doctors aware of it.
- Performed the role of a peer reviewer of the India budget in 2006 in active association with International Budget Project (IBP), Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities, Washington DC. The project aimed to measure the level of transparency in national budgetary processes in 60 countries.
- Completed successfully a research project in 2006 in active support with the World Bank on PETS on Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) that was implemented in the Rajasthan. The pilot project aimed towards a scientific analysis of total budget planned and sanctioned by the Central and State Government during the last five years (2001-05) to build-up an informed and “critical-minded” society to contribute towards corruption free implementation of MDMS.
- Completed successfully a research project in partnership with the World Bank on Social Accountability using various tools of it like CRC, CSC and PETS on National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) under the provision of National Rural Employment Guarantee ACT (NREGA). This project aims at strengthening the demand side of accountability by using the tools of social accountability taking NREGS as an action lab.
- The Centre has been implementing a new project, ‘Traffic Calming Strategies to Improve Pedestrian Safety in India’ in partnership with Lund University, Sweden and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The study aims to highlight the key flaws in the design of Indian roads and develop a manual, first of its kind in India
- Performs through a range of committed and experienced staff who work in coherence.
- Affiliated to important national committees and to a number of international organszations and continuously receives input.
- Have an Advisory Board of 13 members from diverse background and ezpertise.
- Works in conjunction with other programme and resource centers of CUTS located within and outside the country.
- Possesses vast networking in Rajasthan with over 1000 voluntary organisations and grassroots groups.
- Catalyst: A quarterly e-newsletter.
- Gram Gadar (Village Revolution): a monthly wall newspaper and rural development communication initiative being published in Hindi since 1983.
- Panchva Stambh (5th Estate): a Hindi quarterly on accountability, reforms and governance.
- Several occasional and bi-lingual (Hindi and English) subject specific newsletters, publications, guides, books and training manuals for grassroots groups.
- The World Bank, in July 2004, through the project Global Stock Taking on Social Accountability (SA) Mechanisms for Asia and the Pacific, identified CUTS interventions for a case study on pro-poor spending. The Philippine Centre for Policy Studies (PCPS), as commissioned by the bank, did the stocktaking.
- The Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India appointed the Centre as the Regional Resource Agency (RRA) for Rajasthan under the National Environment Awareness Campaign (NEAC).
- The Council of Power Utilities in association with KW Conferences Pvt. Ltd. presented India Power Awards 2008 in recognition of the achievements and contributions of the Centre in power reform.
- CUTS CART acts as a member of State Programme committee (Tobacco Control) under Directorate, Medical & Health Services of Government of Rajasthan, in order to monitor and violation and to enforce the provision of the Section 5 of the Indian Tobacco Control Act 2003.
- International Resource Team on Social Accountability of the WBISD, Washington DC, USA
- Demand For Good Governance (DFGG) Learning network of the World Bank
- South Asia Social Accountability Network (SASANet) of the World Bank
- Network for SAc Curriculum Development in South Asia of the World Bank
- South Asia Youth Environment Network (SAYEN)
- State Advisory Committee of the Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC)
- Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC), Government of India
- Standing Committee to harmonize labeling requirements on packaged commodity, Dept. of Consumer Affairs, Government of India
- State Level Monitoring/Steering Committee (Section 5 of COTPA), Government of Rajasthan
- State Steering Committee, National Tobacco Control Programme, Government of India
- Advocacy Forum for Tobacco Control (AFTC), India
- Maintain the position of a leading consumer organiaation in Rajasthan and stepping up at the national and international levels to fill the prevailing vacuum.
- Attain strong recognition as an organisation in South Asia dealing with “good governance” issues with a focused approach of ‘social accountability’ and ‘information accessibility’.
- Enhance the infrastructural reforms through regulations in South Asian countries ensuring active consumer participation.
- Attach the safety, comfort and economic measures in prevailing travel and traffic environment to ensure sustainable mobility in the country.
- Value addition in government’s programmes at state, regional and national level by associating in a big way.