Inception Meeting, January 2013

The Inception Meeting of the ‘Making Women’s Voices and Votes Count’ was held in Ahmedabad, between 23-24 January 2013. The objective of the meeting was to enable the three partnering organisations – IT for Change, Kutch Mahila Vikas Sanghathan and ANANDI -- to deliberate upon the strategic directions of the project. The meeting commenced with presentations by each organisation, to enable all participants to get acquainted with each other's work, the historical trajectories that have shaped the organisation's journey and experiences in the area of working for women's empowerment, and the standpoints that each organisation locates itself in, regarding the question of engendering local governance. These presentations were followed by a day and a half of intense dialogue, and culminated in a re-affirmation of the shared vision of exploring technological possibilities, for capacity-building of elected women leaders and bringing together geographically dispersed elected women leaders and members of women's collectives, though new technologies such as Interactive Voice Response Systems. The meeting also agreed to work with four primary objectives – networking women in local governance, creating new information centres, creating local media and techno-social processes and actively engaging with policy processes – and build on indicators to enable assessment of the project.