Advocacy and Reforms

The Advocacy and Reforms team at Janaagraha reaches out to and engages with elected representatives, city administrators, bureaucrats and other key stakeholders in the urban realm with specific policy recommendations that will improve quality of life in cities.

Government Engagement

Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS) 2015 Report

ASICS is an objective evaluation of Indian cities based on Janaagraha’s City-systems framework. It is a tool that helps diagnose the health of our cities in a holistic manner. In its third edition, Annual Survey of India’s City Systems (ASICS) 2015 evaluated 21 major cities spread across 18 states on 83 parameters related to urban governance. The report was released at a press conference held in New Delhi on the 14th of March 2016. The higher a city’s score, the higher the likelihood that it will be able to deliver a better quality of life to citizens over the medium and long-term. ASICS, with its rich data and insights on city-systems is designed to aid elected representatives and administrative leaders to identify specific reform agendas for India’s cities.

For further details on the ASICS 2015 report, refer to the link

Annual Conclave: Shaping India’s Urban Agenda

Janaagraha’s annual conclave, designed to further the urban development agenda by bringing together key stakeholders and evolving partnerships, was held in Delhi on the 16th of March 2016. The conclave was attended by MPs, MLAs, Elected representatives of Cities, Municipal Commissioners, Corporate leaders, leaders from NGOs/CSOs and Think-tanks etc. In short, all those who hold a stake in the transformation of our cities and towns for the better, were in audience.

Mr. N R Narayana Murthy, Founder, Infosys delivered the inaugural address at the conclave and Mr. Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Union Minister for Urban Development addressed the audience as the Chief Guest. Other notable speakers and panelists included Mr. Jayant Sinha, Hon’ble Minister of State for Finance, Government of India, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, and Mr. Manish Sisodia, Hob’ble Deputy Chief Minister, GNCTD.

This year’s discussions focused on the following four themes –

1. Smart Streets: Leveraging PPPs in urban roads
2. Cities as growth engines: building institutional capacities
3. Making Participatory Budget Work: What will it take?
4. Who speaks for our cities? Role of elected representatives in city governance

The conclave’s success is highlighted by the partnership Janaagraha developed with the office of Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament to strengthen a landmark legislation that brought about the existence of city governments, the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act. The partnership culminated in the creation of a bill that mandated directly elected mayors with a five-year term for ULBs, increased financial, functional and staffing powers of Mayors, and a host of other provisions aimed at strengthening city governments to enable urban transformation.

Our recommendations on strengthening ULBs can be accessed at To access the Private member bill as introduced by Dr. Shashi Tharoor in the Parliament, click here

City Economy, Infrastructure and Planning – Roundtable Conference

Janaagraha, in association with The British Deputy High Commission Bengaluru, hosted a roundtable conversation on City Economy, Infrastructure and Planning. Mrs. Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment from the Office of Mayor – Greater London Authority shared her experiences and insights with other attendees at the roundtable. The roundtable hosted key Government officials from Bangalore including Heads of Civic agencies and key urban departments.

City Blueprint

Bengaluru Blueprint Exercise

This multi-stakeholder city visioning exercise, taken up in collaboration with Bain and Company, featured one on one interviews with elected representatives, eminent personalities, key government officials and urban experts to collect inputs. An online survey was also conducted to get inputs from the public on visions and solutions for the city of Bengaluru.

Blueprint Synthesis Workshop

To synthesize the expansive set of suggestions collected during the Bengaluru Blueprint exercise, a workshop was organised. Participants at the workshop included all key city leaders including Ministers, MLAs, the Mayor, Senior Bureaucrats and CSOs who strongly endorsed the effort and committed their support to the vision. The workshop is an intermediate step after which we intend to work with the participants to create a well-defined road map for the priority areas for Bengaluru and engage the Chief Minister and the Government to adopt the same.

Constitution of Vision Group
The Government of Karnataka constituted a Bengaluru Blueprint Action Group (BBAG) chaired by the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in early May 2015. The constitution of BBAG followed from the extensive exercise of preparing a blueprint for Bengaluru taken up by Janaagraha in association with Bain & Company.



Municipal Reforms Rajasthan

Janaagraha signed an MoU with the Department of Local Self-Government, Government of Rajasthan to collaborate on Accounting and Auditing reforms as well as Municipal Staffing reforms. The MoU includes establishing a performance MIS framework at the state level, clearing the backlog of accounts and audits in ULBs, and a pilot DOC (which assesses staffing and skill requirements) for the Jaipur Municipal Corporation.  The Accounting and Auditing Reforms will result in better financial management in ULBs, including better monitoring of financial and operational performance and eventually, decision-making based on financial statements and performance MIS.

BBMP Recommendations and submission

We submitted a set of recommendations on Resource Mobilisation for the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike to the Special Commissioner Finance. The detailed set of recommendations can be accessed at