APMAS, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
APMAS originated in 2001 out of a need for an institution which provides Capacity Building for both primary and secondary stakeholders and which ensures quality promotion and management in SHG institutions. Since inception, APMAS has been actively supported by the government, Banks, NGOs and Communicy Based Organisations. APMAS is registered as a Non-Governmental public society and stands under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 1976. APMAS quickly established itself as a unique, credible, and pioneering support organisation in the field of SHG promotion. APMAS is a professionally managed organisation with a devoted governing board and dedicated staff. The Board of APMAS consists of 21 representatives from the government, NGOs, Financial Institutions and Banks, Academic Institutions, SHG Federations, and Eminent individuals.
APMAS has adopted, and is adhering to, International Standards for internal systems. These internal systems include a comprehensive Human Resource policy,Financial System, proactive Staff Training and Development, and involvement programmes. APMAS strongly believes i partnerships and collaborations for achieving its vision and mission. By generating internal funds through a fee for services strategy, APMAS has emerged as a new generation NGO and aims to be self-reliant.
APMAS is a National Level Organisation. It provides field support to the staff of SERP on Institutional Building, covering their work in 11 districts, 90 mandals, and working with MEPMA piloting in 3 towns of Andhra Pradesh. APMAS extended its support activities to 5 states of India - Bihar, Gujarat, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. APMAS is providing Capacity Building support to 13 districts of Gujarat and two districts of Madhya Pradesh, one district in Uttar Pradesh.
Apart from direct Capacity Building, APMAS has stron collaboration with ENABLE members in Policy Advocacy and Capacity Building in the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal and other states in Northeast, East and Central India.
Unique services by APMAS for strengthening the SHG Movement
APMAS's core business is building capacities of the Self Help Promoting Agencies through Quality Assessment (Rating), Quality Enhancement, Research & Advocacy and Livelihoods Promotion Services to SHGs and SHG Federations through their promoters.
Capacity Building (CB) to the primary, secondary, and teritary stakeholders in the SHG movement holds the key for long-term sustainability of both SHGs and their federations. Various capacity-building initiatives taken up by APMAS in Andhra Pradesh and the other states have brought greater recognition to APMAS in the country. CB focuses on training of trainers based on needs assessment, hand-holding support, follow-up of training conducted, facilitating exposure visits, material development and enabling the process of problem solving at the field level. Field visits are undertaken to provide on-the-job support and to demonstrate good practices in the filed. The key initiatives under this unit are expansion of the SHG support services to the other states and promotion of urban SHG movement. over the past 8 years, APMAS has trained more than 80,000 professionals and SHG federation representatives.
Quality Assessment (Rating)
Rating of SHG federations contributes to their sustainability. Through six rating tools that have been designed by APMAS over the last 8 years, it has assessed 434 SHG federations of various promoting organisations. The findings of the assessments have been disseminated widely to gather consensus on the need of building necessary systems and processes in order to make the SHG federations institutionally and financially sustainable. APMAS ratings have been extensively used by SHPIs to improve the quality of their functioning, and assisting their efforts to acquire seed capital from externally funded projects. APMAS is recognised as a specilised agency for SHG federation rating in India.
APMAS strategically chooses to suppport different livelihood interventions by strengthening the role of community bsed organisations (CBOs) in leading their livelihoods sustainably. Thus, APMAS created its niche role in supporting different livelihood activities across different sectors, with an approach denoted through a connotation Sustainable institutions for sustainable livelihoods. APMAS initiated its interventions in supporting Livelihood Promotional activities as an integgrated unit established within the organisation in 2004. This was done with the financial support from the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), unde its Sustainable Community-based Approaches for Livelihood Enhancement (SCALE) project funded by the European Union (EU).
Through this unit, APMAS plays a catalytic role in promoting rural livelihoods in collboration with Govenment of Andhra Pradesh and other livelihood promotion supporting organisations. The key objectives of this unit is to integrate livelihood promotion initiatives by synergising with the Institution Building, Capacity Building process among CBOs and thus develop these institutions to lead their livelihood activities in farm, off-farm, non-farm and service sectors with which they get associated, in rural India.
APMAS provides professional support services to District/ Cluster Livelihood Resources Centers (D/CLRCs) in Adilabad and Kadapa districts to nurture and made them model institutions by creating insitutional linkages for livelihood enhancement. It also provides support services in terms of IB, CB and Livelihood Promotional activities for SHGs and their federations under Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP). As part of its initiatives, it conducts few action research studies, develops few demonstrations, provides handholding suppot and develop case studies out of the best practices. It also organises events like workshops, immersion programs, flagship programs etc., in facilitating the cross learning process across different stakeholders.
Research and Advocacy
As a resource organisation, APMAS keeps track of the ground realities to provide a wealth of resources to other stakeholders in the development sector. The Research and Advocacy unit is deived into three components - Research, Advocacy ad Communications. Action and applied research is bieng conducted by the unit on various issues as they emerge and findings from the studies are then used to design capacity building strategies for SHGs, promoting institutions, dissemination of findings through various workshops (Advocacy), and made available to the public, through APMAS websites and publications.
To build the profile of SHG movement, to bring issues of SHG movement to the notice of the government and other key stakeholders and to obtain a favorable environment for the healthy growth and sustainability of SHG movement, a National Network Enabling Self Help Movement (Enable) has emerged in 2007 with a vision "Vibrant Women SHG Movement in India". Currently the network has seven member organisations, viz., APMAS, Hyderabad/Andhra Pradesh; Cmf, Jaipur/ Rajasthan; Chaitanya, Rajgurnunagar/ Maharashtra; GMO, Kolar/ Karnataka; ISWM, Ahemadabad; Reach India, Kolkatta; and SHGPF, Kolkatta. Enable is to contribute to a conducive-policy environment through research based advocacy for SHGs and federations, to facilitate the flow of funds for SHG & Federation promotion and on lending, to promote innovative models for up-scaling and replication.
APMAS is working in 8 states Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and began to extend its operations in states like Assam, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Orissa, in a phased manner. The states were decided upon with three considerations: firstly, the state would have shown considerable improvement in the quality of the SHG movement. Secondly, the state where institution like APMAS already exists and would show willingness to partner with APMAS, and thirdly, the state where APMAS has already done some work and has some understanding with the local organisations.
Swayam Niyantrana Udhyamam (SNU)/ Self Regulation of SHGs and SHG Federations
APMAS is currently engaged in piloting a Swayam Niyantrana Udyamam (SNU) project, with the funding support of DGRV, Germany. The pilot project is being implented in the Kamareddy Cluster of Nizamabad district of Andhra Pradesh.
The overall objective of SNU is to ensure that SHG members set their agenda and manage and control the process, so tht the SHG system successfully and sustainably works for the benefit of SHG members. The focus of SNU is to build to build the capacities of leaders and members in standardised bookkeeping in use, Standardized reporting in use, Agreed best practices, performance standards and organised monitring, Framing of policies on accounting, active implementation of policies, business and management, Systematic audit and monitoring of fund security; Systematic election; Capable and own staff; Continuous education/ awareness and training; Clarity on General Body (GB), Representative General Body (RGB) Roles of Village Organisations (Primary level SHG federations) and Mandal Samakya (Secondary level Federations); and Legal Compliances
APMAS has been collaborating with MEPMA to continue support in strengthening of SHGs and SHG federations to achieve sustainability. Under the programme APMAS has been developing 3 Town-Level-Federations (TLFs) in LB Nagar, Gudivada and Guntakal urban areas. The total number of SHGs in three towns are 6029 and Slum Level Federations has reached 155 in 2008-09. In all, 17,265 SHG members where trained on SHG concepts, Federation Concepts and Best Practices. SLFs are undertaking several activities like food security and health in addition to the strengthening of the SHGs in their operational area. APMAS is considering the posibility of providing mentoring support to urban SHG federations to take up activities in the area of water & sanitation as those are considered as very important in urban areas.