The story behind SPARC

What is Supporting Parliamentarians on Analysis and Research in the Constituency (SPARC)

Twenty budding young professionals will be working with twenty MPs from across India to support constituency development programs

How did the program come about?

In mid-2015, a cohort of MPs, led by Parliamentarian Kalikesh Singh Deo, came together to brainstorm ways though which Parliamentarians can become more effective leaders. After several weeks of discussion they concluded that a MP spends a significant amount of time on constituency related issues. They noted that unfortunately there is little or no help for constituency development at that level, though significant support is needed.Thus the SPARC program was born.

The cohort of MPs reached out to Swaniti, a non-profit that focuses on supporting MPs around development issues and they jointly came up with the SPARC program. Given the focus on development issues, the MPs along with Swaniti approached Tata Trusts for the for knowledge and financial support. In April 2016, the three partners came together to launch the SPARC program

What does “Supporting Parliamentarians” entail?

Over 12 months, an Associate will be working with an assigned MP on constituency related development programs. The scope of work could range from supporting a MP to pilot a self-help group (SHG) program that could employ more women to strategizing on how to spend MP Local Area Development Funds(MPLADS) to create more impact. All programs will be focused on creating a larger development impact

What kind of power does the Parliamentarian have? How will that affect the on-ground interventions of the Associates?

The Indian Constitution does not define the role of a Parliamentarian. However, each Parliamentarian is answerable to his constituency for the work he/she is doing. Therefore most MPs have a strong desire to deliver direct development to the community. A parliamentarian also yields significant influence in his/her own community through the bureaucracy (and possibly through the state government). Thus, political will combined with access to resources make MPs a phenomenal catalyst in bringing development. The SPARC program supports MPs on development programs.

Associates of the program will be program managers who will support in the execution of key developmental initiatives. For more information about the SPARC Associate, click here.

Is the SPARC program political in nature?

No. The SPARC program focuses on development. Therefore all projects are focused purely on delivering development.