Focus on the Global South-India (Focus-India) was registered as an educational trust in Mumbai under the Bombay Public Trust Act in 2005. For the past 18 years, Focus has conducted research and analysis from the perspective of the global south on issues such as globalisation, trade, governance, climate change, agriculture and development, grounded in our commitment to social, ecological and gender justice, democracy and plurality. Our main research programmes include Political Economy of Development, Democracy and Alternatives.
Focus-India has used many different approaches including research and analytical writing, debates, seminars and conferences, education and study programmes, network building, international solidarity, engaging with policy makers, social forums, joint campaigns and media.
As India and other developing countries engage on international fora on trade, climate, finance and development, researchers at Focus-India have closely followed these developments and rapidly responded to the changing economic and development landscape. On the issue of free trade and globalisation we have provided a strong critique of neoliberalism and how institutions such as the World Trade Organisation curtail the sovereign development policy space of countries such as India in the arenas of agriculture, services and industrial policy.
Some key achievements that capture the scope and consistency of our work over the past 18 years include:
- Building and supporting international networks and process – for example, on WTO and FTAs, climate change and development finance – by bringing in grassroots voices and movements from India and Asia, providing timely research and analysis, and organising seminars, workshops and conferences.
- Developing and popularising Alternatives such as ‘deglobalisation’ and ‘food sovereignty’ as an alternative to neo-liberal globalisation that benefits transnational corporations in the developed world. Focus is considered as one of the pioneering groups behind the framework of Deglobalisation and it continues to be a rich source of ideas and debates as the search for alternatives accelerates in the era of climate change, financial crisis and pandemics.
- Providing research and analysis to civil society organisations in India and the global south. Focus-India has been consistently recognised by various civil society organisations working on agriculture, trade, finance as a significant contributor to building their understanding on global and macro developments that have implications on their work and on policy challenges in the country.
- Regular updates through Focus Dispatch, an electronic newsletter that has consistently provided high-quality and up-to-date analyses and perspectives from the Global South on current events and key issues. We have also consistently used other social media channels such as Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and Facebook to disseminate our various outputs to a wide audience across and outside the country.
- Establishing strong and trusted links with civil society organisations, research groups and academics regionally and internationally.
Who we are
Focus-India is a small group of researchers working in partnership with other civil society organisations, researchers, academics and national networks in our common quest for ecological, social and economic justice. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, our team is working remotely from various parts of India. The Focus-India team has a wealth of experience and skills, as well as diverse cultural perspectives, educational and work backgrounds, languages and ways of working. Our organisational structure reflects our commitment to horizontality and democracy, while the team structure aims to maximise inter-connections between issues, level of analysis and geographic locations.
What we believe
We believe that social transformation happens through deepening democratic institutions at the lowest levels through the principle of subsidiarity and the continued empowerment of social movements and civil society. We believe that it is vital that civil society organisations have the information and analysis that enables them to participate in policy debates on economic and development issues, as well as the networks and relationships to build a progressive and internationalist perspective.
- Re-embedding societies and economies within ecosystems, based on the principles of subsidiarity, peoples’ participation and sustainability.
- Socialising/democratising control of and access to energy, food, land, water, soil, forests, as well as essential goods and services, to ensure justice, well-being and freedom.
- Re-imagining genuinely democratic institutions and forms of governance that can deliver economic and social justice and well-being within planetary limits.
Focus-India continues to be a relevant and experienced organisation on issues ranging from agriculture, trade, development, finance and alternatives to neoliberalism. Our research and policy analysis team focuses on these activities;
- Providing political economy education to build the strategic and intellectual strength of civil society groups in India and other developing countries.
- Doing research and analysis that supports the civil society networks in India and in the Global South.
- Building networks, coalitions and campaigns that provide voice and policy space for grassroots groups.