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Ford Foundation-funded Indian organizations via FCRA: 2006-2012

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Ford Foundation-funded Indian organizations via FCRA: 2006-2012
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Ford Foundation (FF) is a philanthropic organization headquartered in New York, which provides grants to organizations around the world who can assist it in its objectives. In India, their goal is “to address persistent poverty by empowering socially marginalized groups and improving government policies” which they pursue through their office in New Delhi.

Several Indian organizations have received and continue to receive grants from Ford Foundation. Many articles have examined aspects of funding from FF and questioned the need for foreign grants in sociology, law, advocacy and other spheres of activity which are unlikely to benefit from either foreign grants either from FF or other similar organizations. Notable pieces can be found herehereherehere, and here.

This writer was motivated to do the following work upon reading a recent article written by a leading Tamil author here and a reply from one of his readers here. Both articles are in Tamil.

One of the handicaps faced by authors of such articles appears to be the lack of comprehensive data. Which Indian organizations have received funds from Ford Foundation? Or, in general, from any foreign entity? Getting this information is a non-trivial task. One could put a search for “India” at FF’s own website at http://www.fordfoundation.org/grants/search and obtain some reasonable data, but the information about the specific Indian organization (recipient) is sparse. But then, can one get the same from the recipient side? The answer is yes, and one can do it through the FCRA database at http://mha1.nic.in/fcra.htm.

FCRA, or Foreign Contribution (Regulatory) Act enables the channelling of foreign funds to organizations (either Governmental or Non-Governmental) in India. For a brief introduction to FCRA and the magnitude of funds which have come via this route over the last seventeen years, one could begin here. Indian organizations registered under FCRA are mandated to file an Annual Return with the Ministry of Home Affairs every year, whether they received any funds in that year or not. Such returns are called FC-6 returns.

It is possible using reverse analyses, to identify all Indian organizations which have received funds from a foreign entity via FCRA. The same methodology was put to effective use in the past, to identify Indian NGOs receiving foreign funds from Operation Mobilisation, Dalit Freedom Network (& related entities). In a similar vein, IndiaFacts carried an article on Indian NGOs receiving funds from Gospel for Asia Inc (and allied entities) in Texas.

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The current article is written on the same lines, although the magnitude of the work is much larger here. Towards this purpose, about 1.5 lakh of FC-6 returns, spread over 7 years were analysed. The slideshow at the end of this piece provides details of Indian Organizations which have received at least ₹1.0 lakh in any of the years 2006 up to 2012 from Ford Foundation, via FCRA.

Caveat

While I have taken much care to check the veracity of this List, I cannot rule out errors, as the donor name (Ford Foundation, here) in FC6 returns is entered in all possible manners by FCRA-NGOs in their respective FC6 returns. I am willing to get any errors corrected, if pointed out to me in the comments section.

Acknowledgements

Remarks on the List

  • Amounts mentioned include the total funding received by that organization in that year from FF and are rounded off to the nearest lakh. The data for each organization can be accessed at the Ministry of Home Affairs website.
  • Typographical errors, changes in case, format, syntax in the names and addresses of Organizations are intrinsic to the FCRA database and are provided as-is.
  • For 2012, returns available up to February 10, 2015 were analysed. For other years, returns filed up to March 30, 2014 were used.
  • Entries marked NA mean that the FC6 return was not available.
  • This article does not judge either FF or any of the Organizations who have received funds from it. The list has been created so that it can act as a ready-reckoner for people to do their own analyses. Any such analyses using this data should cite this piece.
  • The slideshow lists all Organizations which have stated their receipts from FF via FCRA. Thus, although FF claims to have granted some money to an NGO named Kabir, the same is not reflected in this list as Kabir (whether these two names refer to the same organization is not known in public domain) does not have any FC-6 return other than this sole one filed for the year 2007-2008.
  • A summary of the number of organizations which received non-zero funds from FF and the total amounts received each year are shown in Table 1.

Table 1

Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Number of Indian FCRA-Organizations 104 128 136 127 131 145 109
Total Amount (Rs. in Crore) 41.07 75.42 68.84 50.36 54.78 54.34 52.49

Slideshow: Complete list of organizations funded by Ford Foundation

The slideshow runs automatically. If you want to use the manual option, you can click the dots at the bottom of each slide.

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Shiva Kumaran

The author tracks Christian Evangelism and NGOs in India and can be followed on Twitter @sighbaboo