DHAN Foundation works with about 700,000 families in 11 states of India, striving to improve the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable communities by helping to organize themselves and bring themselves out of poverty and address their various development needs. The interventions are spread over in the urban, rural, coastal, and tribal contexts.
Frequent disasters hinder development by reversing the benefits gained so far. The 2004 tsunami's devastating impact on the coastal population provided DHAN Foundation an opportunity to work with affected communities closely on a large scale and understand the effects and long term impacts of such disasters first hand. More than a decade of grassroots experience of DHAN shows that droughts and floods are the frequently occurring disasters which perpetuate poverty. These situations have compelled DHAN to look at and address these issues on a long term basis.
DHAN believes that in order to build a disaster resilient community, humanitarian responses alone—which stop at restoring the habitation and livelihoods of the affected community—are not enough. Rather, it is essential to work with the affected community on a long term basis, build people institutions, and internalize the process of disaster risk reduction at the community level. This can be done only by development organisations with trained human resources who work on disaster risk reduction, disaster response, and disaster management. Hence it becomes imperative for the development sector to enhance its own capacity in the field of disaster risk reduction if it is to build a strong disaster resilient community at the grassroots level.
In this backdrop, DHAN Foundation has established a specialised centre—ACEDRR—in Tata-Dhan Academy, to not only enhance DHAN's own capacity, but also improve the capacity of the sector as a whole.
Tata-Dhan Academy is a pioneer institute in the field of development management education. The Academy grooms and nurtures young graduates as development professionals for development action by providing them with relevant attitude, skill and knowledge. DHAN Foundation established the Tata-Dhan Academy in 2000; Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT) extended its strategic seed support to help position the Academy as a Centre of Excellence in Development management. The Academy offers a two years fulltime Programme in Development Management (PDM) and a number of short duration Development Management Programmes (DMPs), Also the Academy takes up research and documentation, consultancy services. The other specialised centre in the Academy is ASKMI, the Asian Knowledge Centre for Mutual Insurance.
Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. Together with individuals and local groups in more than 120 countries, Oxfam saves lives, helps people overcome poverty, and fights for social justice. We are an affiliate of Oxfam International. Right from idea conception, Oxfam America is involved in setting up of ACE DRR in Tata-Dhan Academy. Being a humanitarian funding organization with a long and enriching experience in the field of disaster management, Oxfam America came forward to provide financial and technical support in this endeavor.