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Established in 1983, Development Alternatives innovates and delivers eco-solutions that
reduce poverty and regenerate the environment. It also influences and spearheads
major policy changes that promote sustainable development and empowerment of the

For 25 years now, the organisation has innovated green technologies in shelter, water
and energy for creating sustainable green livelihoods. With more than 20 such
technology solutions, DA has created around 1 million livelihoods benefiting over 5
million people in the most backward areas of India through the implementation of over
600 projects. DA has pioneered mitigation and adaptation measures for rural
communities by providing environmental solutions well before climatic change was
recognised as a global concern. These solutions consist of renewable energy
applications, water management, green habitat and state of environment reporting at
the state, national and regional level.

DA has also worked on influencing policy on environment friendly standards. It works

with the Government of India at the central level and in several states such as Madhya
Pradesh, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, West Bengal, Bihar and
Rajasthan. It has delivered its green technologies in the region to Afghanistan, Sri
Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and to Indonesia and parts of Africa.

DA has helped to broaden public support for green jobs and livelihoods, green economic
empowerment and green technologies by

 Implementing environmental projects

 Developing environment friendly technology and policies
 Generating awareness on climate change issues
 Supporting adaptation solutions
 Creating an environment for the use of renewable energy

The mission of DA is to create sustainable livelihoods in large numbers.

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The vision of DA is a world where every citizen can live a secure, healthy and fulfilling
life in harmony with nature.

The DA Group, since the very outset, has been the pioneer in the domain of sustainable
development in India; so much so that the organisationƎs name has become
synonymous with the issue of 
  ª  . DA aims at achieving
economic growth  
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 for the environment to
withstand the worst of development activities. Over the last quarter of a century, DA has
delivered provided several 8
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ª ª  ª ª
 ª    These EcoSolutions feature a very flexible module,
which can be taken advantage of by the communities. Also, they are customisable,
replicable, and have a multiplier effect.
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` Employment generation and skill development

` Clean environment
` Basic needs fulfilment

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The programmes cover:

{ employment generation of the marginalised sections through

’ Skill and capacity building for green jobs
’ Enterprise development
{ clean and green environment through
` Natural Resource Management
` Clean technology development
{ basic needs fulfilment and empowerment of the communities by
’ Institutional development
’ Basic need support for rural and marginalised sections

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Bundelkhand is the working ground of Development Alternatives Group for more than
twenty years. This semi-arid region of Central India is one of the poorest and backward
regions of the country. Issues like illiteracy, gender discrimination and marginalisation of
the lower classes, poor self-esteem and little hope for change are the major problems of
the Bundelkhand region. Inadequate livelihood opportunities and lack of skills, acute
shortage of water, poor agricultural productivity, virtually no infrastructure and
industrialisation and limited mobility are other development issues in the drought-ridden
region. ª
DA has set up three Appropriate Technology Centres for training and demonstration of
its renewable energy applications, water management, green habitat and non-farm
income options in this region. It has worked to inspire the rural poor through ideas,
creating for them a network support and infrastructure and empowering them with
knowledge with which they can take control of their lives and work towards a better
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DA has built a widespread alliance of strategic global partners, which include
government agencies, social enterprises, businesses, foundations and institutions.
Together with these worldwide partners, DA is able to spread its vision and mission on
global scale. P ª ª$  %ª

The Development Alternatives World Headquarters, located in New Delhi, is one of the
first buildings in India that aims at zero emissions. The building is described as a living
ecosystem: a fine balance of natural and man-
made process employing environment-friendly
energy, material and water management
methods. Its construction has involved a wide
range of resource-saving strategies, ranging
from indoor climate control to rainwater
harvesting and natural lighting.

Other unique features of this building are use of

hybrid air-conditioning, which will cut down use
of energy and water considerably, up to 40%. A
new concept called Indoor climate control has
been used which allows the temperature to will
remain around 18 degrees in winter and 28
degrees in summer inside the office. This can cause a small amount of discomfort but all
employees have agreed to it, as the quantum of energy saved is enormous.

Links -

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Networks create a model of collaborative behaviour between different organisations with
DA providing the structure and process for these organisations to function as a single
unified system. Communities, self governing institutions, urban bodies, NGOs,
multilateral and bilateral bodies, academic and research institutions, corporations etc are
in broad network of Development Alternatives Group.
DA has many networks and platforms to work towards sustainable development.
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Community Led Environment Action Network Ƌ India (CLEAN-India) is a programme
developed by DA in 1996 to create a clean environment for cities with water and solid
waste management, biodiversity conservation and enhanced greening. With the help of
NGOs across the country, CLEAN-India aims at empowering students and children to
take responsibility for the environmental improvement of their cities, towns and
neighbourhoods. The programme is functional in 400 schools, with almost one million
children in its network. (Link

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The PACS programme was designed to help the large number of poor people in India.
Funded by DFID, U.K. it has been one of the most comprehensive civil society response
programmes to address the social, economic and other development issues in the
poorest districts of India. Over 6.6 million rural poor have been enabled to take charge
of their lives through the implementation of the programme by DA. (Link

'ª ªSouth Asiaª

This platform is a regional knowledge platform to develop knowledge systems and
promoting collaborative action with South Asia to enable poor to access sustainable
habitats and livelihoods. Development Alternative hosts the Secretariat of  South
Asia for sharing knowledge on habitat and livelihoods.
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The Climate Action Network for South Asia is a network of South Asia that supports and
empowers Civil Society Organisations to influence the design and development of a
global climate strategy to reduce green house gas emissions, regional and local levels.
CANSA promotes and protects sustainable development. DA hosts the CANSA Secretariat
jointly with Bangladesh Centre for Advance Studies (BCAS), Bangladesh. DA
representativesƎ co-ordinate the activities of the networks as well provide insightful
inputs into the CANSA process.

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The Environment Information System (ENVIS) was established by DA in 1984, to create

a network to distribute Environmentally Sound Appropriate Technologies, which are
effective and environmental friendly technologies. ENVIS aims to create networks
between other institutions that have similar programmes in order to create a platform
and database through which these technologies can be shared and information
distribution developed. DA provides information on Environmentally Sound Appropriate
Technologies (ESAT) through the website (, collaborative linkage with
institutions and through various query response systems to its users. The emphasis was
on collection, collation and customising information content of the portal to meet specific
end-user needs

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Development Alternatives Group comprises Development Alternatives and its associate
organisation in India: Technology and Action for Rural Advancement (TARA), People
First and their subsidiaries.

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Technology and Action for Rural Advancement (TARA), is the primary business arm of
the Development Alternatives Group. TARA produces and markets technology products
designed by Development Alternatives and innovations sourced externally.

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TARA haat delivers relevant information, products and services to the underserved
markets of rural India, using internet and other information technologies in local

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The TARA Nirman Kendra (TNK) at Delhi and the Grameen Nirman Kendra at Orchha
(Madhya Pradesh) are responsible for the delivery of shelter products and services of the
DA Group. They promote the use of sustainable building materials and provide building
The Development Alternatives Group is a microcosm of Indian society. It brings together
more than 400 women and men representing the cultural, linguistic and socio-economic
diversity of the country and spanning a range of professional experience required for its
operation. Our Chairman and Presidents are:

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Dr. Khosla founded Development Alternatives in 1983. He is responsible for policies,

strategic planning and the overall supervision of the organisationƎs operations. He has
been working towards the development and dissemination of effective environmental
management systems and the design and advocacy of appropriate policies and
institutions. Dr. Khosla is the Chairman of DA and the President of IUCN.

President Ƌ Business Initiatives

Dr. Kumar is President of Development Alternatives and has wide range of experience in
the areas of technology design, system engineering, business development and
organisation of research. Since 1989 he has been responsible for the innovation and
development of technology systems required for creating sustainable livelihoods in large
scale. (
President Ƌ Enterprise Development

Mr. Varughese is President of Enterprise Development of DA. His areas of specialisation

include programme planning and management; institutional design; regional
environmental planning; environment impact assessment; natural resource
management; information systems management; policy formulation; and construction
management. He has spearheaded the Community Led Environment Action Network
(CLEAN-India) and the Poorest Areas Civil Society Programme (PACS)