Who is DASRA?

Dasra is an advisory research organization, which works with philanthropists, multilateral agencies, corporate foundations, social enterprises, and non-profits, to scale social impact in India across multiple sectors. Founded in 1999, Dasra began working in WASH in 2012 after recognizing the crucial links WASH has to health and education, the areas Dasra was working in at the time. “In 2012, when we started work on toilets, many supporters of Dasra were shocked,” said Deval Sanghavi, Dasra Co-Founder. It was  “a topic that typically was not funded,” so Dasra began researching the landscape of social entrepreneurs in need of support. Many of which were identified in their two WASH reports “Squatting Rights: Access to Toilets in Urban India” and “Spot On! Improving Menstrual Hygiene and Hygiene in India.”

Later, in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a “Clean India” campaign to build a toilet in every household in India by 2019. Now, Deval said, “toilets are a topic in every newspaper, every corporate boardroom, and every government discussion. That’s a huge opportunity to highlight innovations, share that with the rest of the community at large to see what works and what doesn’t, as well as bring a greater amount of credibility and accountability to the funds that will be spent to ensure that every household has a toilet.”

What DASRA Brings to the Network

Dasra will work with R4D toward the goal of ensuring that every household in India has a toilet, by providing capacity building to promising WASH innovators who will contribute to the “Clean India” campaign. Dasra will hold workshops that are based on facilitated peer learning, during which program managers can learn from each others’ challenges and successes and hone their program leadership, mission, and fundraising skills. Dasra will also leverage its relationships with various funders in India, particularly philanthropists and corporate foundations, to connect innovators to the financial resources they need to grow.