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NALSAR and Kshetra Foundation Collaborate on Five-Year Project to Foster Community Growth and Conflict Resolution

By Jhanak Singh      12 June, 2024 04:54 PM      0 Comments
NALSAR and Kshetra Foundation Collaborate on Five Year Project to Foster Community Growth and Conflict Resolution

Hyderabad: NALSAR University of Law and the Kshetra Foundation for Dialogue have joined forces, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to initiate a five-year collaborative project focused on “Building Community Capacity and Ecosystemic Support for Conflict Transformation, Collaborative Problem-solving, and Self-governance.” This partnership is rooted in a shared belief that systemic change can only be achieved through integrated approaches that involve society, governance, and business institutions.

The project aims to enhance local community capacity for conflict resolution and collective self-governance, fostering sustainable growth through dialogue. By empowering community members, particularly paralegal volunteers and Anganwadi teachers, the initiative seeks to create a ripple effect of positive change.

NALSAR University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sri Krishna Deva Rao highlighted the importance of this collaboration: “NALSAR’s partnership with Kshetra empowers students and local communities through dialogue, fostering changemakers who drive grassroots development. This redefines legal education and creates a brighter future for all. Resolving conflicts that arise at the community level associated with ecologically sensitive resources is crucial for wellbeing and harmony. This is in tune with the Gandhian Vision of peace which prioritizes the capacity to resolve disputes peacefully. Building capacities within the community to settle disputes, protect the environment, and strengthen human rights will be immensely helpful to the community, especially to vulnerable people. Participatory dispute resolution processes also help spread the consciousness of constitutional rights in the long run. Integrating these values and processes into the curriculum to foster community engagement in conflict transformation will hone students’ skills for grassroots work. NALSAR is committed to empowering future leaders with tools to navigate complexity and drive change. This partnership with Kshetra reinforces that commitment.”

Dr. Krishna Udayasankar, CEO of Kshetra, echoed this sentiment, stating, “Our partnership with NALSAR aims to empower community changemakers with essential dialogue skills, fostering a generation that can transform conflict into collaboration and create lasting change. Paralegal volunteers and Anganwadi teachers often deal with community conflicts, both formally and informally. Through this project, we aim to equip these key changemakers with the Dialogic Method, enabling them to better fulfill their roles. We have conducted two pilot workshops in Telangana over the past year and found both groups eager to adopt these skills. As these changemakers use dialogic approaches, positive outcomes will encourage community members to adopt similar methods, serving as a seed for broader societal change. Such social change requires an ecosystem of support, and we are honored to work with NALSAR University. Through the University’s student body, we hope to create a support structure for community leaders and members to use dialogue effectively in transforming conflict into collaboration.”

The initiative focuses on empowering Paralegal Volunteers, Anganwadi teachers, self-help groups (SHGs), and community leaders with NALSAR’s academic support and Kshetra’s expertise in the Dialogic Method. This multi-stakeholder approach aims to enhance local community welfare and create a replicable model for societal transformation.

Ms. Natasha Joshi, Associate Director of Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies, which supports Kshetra in this project, expressed her excitement: “Building an appreciation for, and understanding of, the value of dialogue is crucial today. Rooting this capacity in young people fosters a generation of empowered citizens who can advocate for their needs, resolve conflicts peacefully, and drive sustainable development in their communities. This collaboration is a wonderful example of how academia, civil society, and the government can work together to empower individuals, build resilient communities, and create lasting impact.”

The MoU signifies a significant step towards building a sustainable model for community development, leveraging the strengths of both institutions to foster change across sectors. The project will feature workshops, mentorships, and action research initiatives focused on enhancing the community’s capacity to use dialogue for conflict transformation and self-governance. NALSAR University law and business students, trained in community conflict resolution, will support these community members in engaging with on-ground situations.

About NALSAR University:

The National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) University of Law, Hyderabad, established in 1998, is one of India’s premier law universities, known for its pioneering legal research and innovative approaches to legal education.

About Kshetra Foundation for Dialogue:

Kshetra Foundation for Dialogue aims to enable changemakers to solve complex societal problems using the Dialogic Method practice framework. This method draws on disciplines such as mediation, behavioral science, and systems thinking to help define, understand, and solve complex problems. It has been applied by over 25,000 end-users in diverse fields, including peacebuilding, education, gender, climate change, criminal justice, and more. 



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NALSAR and Kshetra Foundation Collaborate on Five-Year Project to Foster Community Growth and Conflict Resolution NALSAR and Kshetra Foundation Collaborate on Five-Year Project to Foster Community Growth and Conflict Resolution

NALSAR and Kshetra Foundation Collaborate on Five Year Project to Foster Community Growth and Conflict Resolution

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