Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACS) Programme



PACS is an initiative of the UK government`sDepartment for International Development(DFID) in partnership with civil society.PACS helps socially excluded communities toclaim their rights and entitlements moreeffectively.PACS focuses on socially excludedgroups including scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, Muslims, women andgirls, people with disability and theurban poor.This five-year programme (2009-2014)aims to support civil society organisations(CSOs) in promoting inclusive local, districtand state policies, programmes andinstitutions. It focuses on areas of education, health, nutrition, livelihoods, water and sanitation.


The vision is to create a more equal societyby reducing the socio economic gap betweenwomen and socially excluded communitiesand the general population.


PACS recognises that to create a more equalsociety, the root causes of social exclusion,whereby groups are discriminated against onthe basis of social and cultural identity.Social exclusion is one of the biggestchallenges to development in India as itcontributes to poverty and marginalisation, and denies people their fundamental rightsand opportunities.`People who are excluded are not `just like` therest of the poor. They are also disadvantaged by who they are or where they live and, as a result,are locked out of the benefits of development.Social exclusion deprives people of choices and opportunities to escape from poverty and deniesthem a voice to claim their rights.` DFID, 2005.


  • Strengthen demand for improved delivery of basic services.
  • Make support services more responsive and accountable.
  • Address the different forms of barriers and discrimination faced by women and socially excluded communities in accessing services and benefits.

Services and benefits

  • CSOs prioritise and raise issues of socially excluded communities.
  • socially excluded communities are better represented and have a greater voice in decision making at village, block, district and state levels.
  • CSOs, community-based organisations and service providers are more responsive and accountable to socially excluded communities.
  • increased reach of benefits from public and private services to socially excluded communities in PACS target districts.
  • learning from the programme is widely shared.