Samaj Pragati Sahayog
Over the last three decades, Samaj Pragati Sahayog (SPS) has grown to be one of India’s largest grass-roots initiatives for water and livelihood security, working with its partners on a million acres of land across 72 of India’s most backward districts, mainly in the central Indian Adivasi belt.
Total loan leveraged
1 Million Acres
Of land worked upon across 72
Backward Districts of India
Samaj Pragati Sahayog (SPS) is an organisation registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. As per the Act, the Executive Committee (EC) is the highest decision-making body and executive powers are vested in the Secretary.
The role of the EC is to provide broad guidance and oversight to SPS work. Day-to-day responsibility rests with the 25-member Core Team of experienced professionals who work full-time at headquarters, leading the team of 225 SPS activists.
SPS is a learning organisation, highly critical of its own functioning, both in terms of processes and performance. We regard every endeavor of ours as a drop in the vast ocean of strife. But also aspire for perfection within the striving to be this drop. We believe that the inherent limitation of bureaucracy derives from its foundation in the specification of offices – that people are responsible only for their own jobs. We have sought to move decisively beyond this conception towards an organization whose master concept is that “everyone contributes their best for the success of the whole”. This is a deeply interactive, consultation organization where consensus is created through institutionalized dialogue.
Our metro-educated, local-educated and village professionals all have unique insights such that they can greatly benefit by being open to learning from the other, quite irrespective of position in the hierarchy. We see the maintenance of tension within healthy bounds as the key to any creative and dynamic organisation. Greater emphasis is placed on principles rather than rules. This encourages flexibility and creativity in response to challenges.
The regular interface of people across teams, facilitated by the Core Team, acts as a corrective to possible abuse of flexibility. The fluidity of such an organizational structure also demands that decision-making processes are frequently reconstructed – they cannot simply be “read” off an organogram.