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The UN Millennium Campaign was started to support citizens demanding accountability from their governments towards fulfillment of their MDGs related promises. The 15th General Election will play a vital role in developing advocacy for the MDGs. This is the time, when voters can select their candidates by accessing public policy directions, the adequacy of public service delivery and the allocation of resources.

The UN Millennium Campaign works with its partners to strengthen the participatory process and the people’s influence on elected officials and political leaders to improve the implementation of the MDGs. One of the strategies adopted by the Campaign in India is to make citizens aware of their governments’ commitments and motivating them to actively participate in democratic institutions and political processes. This is done through initiating an open social dialogue that enables participation in planning development programmes and by allowing different segments of society to identify and prioritise their issues and areas of development. In collaboration with partners across civil society, media, faith based organisations, local authorities, youth and private sector, the campaign focuses on advocacy actions to build political will in the government and help formulate a policy framework that accelerates and fosters the achievement of MDGs. In India, the focus is on achieving MDGs 1-7 through various innovative citizens and civil society initiatives that builds up sustained pressure on the government to deliver on their promises.

In order to create governance accountability in India, the United Nations Millennium Campaign is supporting Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (Keep Your Promises Campaign), which is a national coalition of over 900 development and grassroots organisations working across 15 states to monitor the Government’s promises on the ground by reviewing its performance in fulfilling its UN Millennium Development Goals, National Development Goals and the National Common Minimum Programme.

The All India People’s Manifesto, coordinated by WNTA (http://www.wadanatodo.net), is a first-of-its kind effort to create a 10-point national agenda through a localised process of consultation and dialogue.

The campaign aims to engage people in raising their voice for the future agenda of the country. Over 400,000 people have been engaged in the consultations held in 365 parliamentary constituencies across 29 States/UTs in developing the All India People’s Manifesto. This includes the direct participation of citizens from various organisations, local groups and civil society organisations.

The media has also played an extensive role in covering and reporting the proceedings across parliamentary constituencies thereby taking this process to a much wider audience. To target urban and youth voters, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA) launched an online version of the All India People’s Manifesto on YouTube in March 2009. The channel was listed as a Featured Video on YouTube’s homepage which recorded over 100,000 views across the site. The campaign developments were also reported in various media agencies like Dainik Jagaran, Hindustan Times, IBNLive.com, Kalingatimes.com, Navbharat Times, The Hindu, Times of India, Women’s Features Service, Zee TV, Lead India, All India Radio, etc., and global networks including Civicus, GCAP, International Budget Project, OneWorld South Asia, UN Millennium Campaign and Whitebandaction.org.

A charter of key demands have been developed on the basis of demands that emerged across parliamentary constituencies with the objective of influencing the Election Manifestoes of political parties and negotiating the integration of key demands in the post-election governance agenda.

Along with the key demands, a Women’s manifesto has also been developed in consultation with 231,984 people (both men and women) across 100 parliamentary constituencies. The Women’s Manifesto includes the following key points:

  • Equal political representation and participation
  • Equal property rights for women
  • Right to work and entrepreneurship support
  • Priority for girls’ education
  • End violence against women
  • Special programmes for women
  • Greater access to public facilities and public places
  • Stronger national and state women’s commissions


The All India People’s Manifesto, as a movement, will continue to function after the elections also. UN Millennium Campaign and its other partners will engage people in mobilisation and advocacy to lead this effort. This includes preparing Report Card for MPs in 100 parliamentary constituencies based on MDG-related indicators, a Citizens Report on the Status of MDGs, youth contest in colleges across India etc.