One of our founders was the ground-breaking economist E. F. Schumacher (1911 – 1977)

The starting point of all our considerations is poverty, or rather, a degree of poverty which means misery, and degrades and stultifies the human person.

E.F. Schumacher Small is Beautiful

Following his experiences in rural Burma in 1955, Schumacher published ‘Small is Beautiful – economics as if people mattered’, a work whose popularity and relevance has only grown. Amongst his many innovative approaches, two elements have particularly influenced the Jeevika philosophy.


Appropriate Technologies are solutions to poverty that fit the local context. These methods are human-scale, low-cost and environmentally friendly.

The creation and delivery of appropriate knowledge is part of Jeevika Trust’s mission.  This means human-scale, low-cost, environmentally-friendly, people-centred solutions to village problems.  For example, in the context of social housing, building a low-cost, locally-resourced house with interlocking, mortar-free soil blocks is an appropriate ‘technology’, while engaging the community to take ownership of the process may be called an appropriate ‘methodology’.

Like Schumacher, we believe that a ‘gift of knowledge’ is infinitely preferable to a gift of material things. The gift of material goods makes people dependent, but the gift of knowledge makes them free. 


Partnership between Civil Society, the Private Sector and the State.

Schumacher also laid the foundations for our tri-sector methodology.

He described development as a difficult task in which administrators, business and communicators must work in partnership – his so-called A – B – C model.

The state gives legitimacy and policy framework, the business sector offers resources and professionalism and civil society/NGOs work as vital facilitators, mobilising participation and people for ownership of the process.  With this new synergy our common goals can be achieved.


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