CEDAR is a not-for-profit organization registered in 2006 under the Societies Act of 1860. The registered office of CEDAR is located in Delhi while the main operations office is based in Dehradun. CEDAR was established when a group of academics and development practitioners came together to bridge the gap between applied research and field based interventions or, to put it differently, ‘balance theory and practice’. The development sector has, for long, been caught in the divide between theoreticians and practitioners. This divide has set the sector back and deprived it of the opportunity to continuously assess and improve its work. This has also had implications for policy formulation whereby the lack of a right blend of lessons from the field, properly documented and analyzed, has led to information gap in policy formulation. CEDAR sees its role to straddle this divide and help fill the information gap in policy formulation.

Urban agglomerations across the Indian Himalaya are undergoing rapid expansion and economic transformation. Their increasing population fuelled by migration from rural areas; consumptive lifestyles as the economic status of people change; and effects of climate change, are all contributing to ever-growing water shortages. This has led to a situation of water insecurity in the region In recent years, this has been a major focus of CEDAR’s activities.

CEDAR has worked through a process of engagement with various stakeholders. From engaging with and helping strengthen citizen groups in many of these towns, to collaborating with research institutions, and helping convince decision makers in the Government and the political leadership, the process CEDAR has focused on building consensus and a sense of ownership at all levels.

Website: http://www.cedarhimalaya.org

Objectives of our Future Work

  • To extend our work to more mountain towns in the eastern and western parts of the Himalaya so as to build a broad understanding of issues of water supply across Himalayan towns.
  • To explore the nature of dependence of local communities on hydrological flows and other ecosystem services in micro catchments in Indian Himalayan Region.
  • To develop awareness and an understanding of sustainable water supply to mountain towns and help influence policy.
  • To develop a deeper understanding of critical water zones and help identify areas critical to water recharge.
  • To strengthen citizen groups in mountain towns and catalyse such groups to influence good water policy.
  • To develop citizen science initiatives through schools, colleges and citizen groups.
  • To coordinate between educational, research institutions, citizen groups and the district administration and policy makers and help develop effective networks around water supply and policy.
  • To be an open access repository for data on water supply in small towns and to provide researchers, citizens and interested institutions with access to good quality data.

Possible volunteering opportunities

CEDAR invites students from different backgrounds to intern on topics related to above and address parts of the above objectives and contribute towards the ongoing research and future plan of the organisation and develop their own understanding about issues related to urbanisation, climate change and water in the Himalayan region. Work will be supervised by Dr. Vishal Singh, Executive Director of CEDAR.

Preferred Skills

Open to undergraduates or any graduate students with both social sciences and physical sciences backgrounds interested in pure and interdisciplinary research in the Himalayan region. Students having skills in photography and video documentary, creative writing, network development or interest in historical, cultural and social issues such as changes in traditional food habits, customs etc are also encouraged to apply.

Approximate cost

You should expect to spend about £1200 for eight weeks - this covers costs for food and accommodation, as well as local travel. This includes the £300 programme fee payable for Camvol support.

In addition to these local costs, volunteers will need to book return flights to India (typically about £600 if booked early), and apply for an appropriate visa, as required by the Indian High Commission (for visa charges, please check the Indian visa facilitation service website for exact fees).

Vaccination and other medical costs have NOT been included in estimated costs, and applicants should take this into account while planning their budgets. If you intend to travel for recreation and tourism, these costs will be additional, so please budget accordingly.

Financial support for summer charitable work and volunteering is available via Colleges and from the University. If selected, the Camvol Director can advise about funding opportunities.