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Review for Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore, MD, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

First, I am Indian.
Second, I teach Community Development with a Water and Sanitation emphasis at the University level.
Finally, on at least six occasions over many years, I have worked as a consultant with other both national and international organizations hand-in-glove with CRS in the field and in the mix of NGO planning at a a senior management level. I am based in Kolkata and focus mainly in the Eastern Region, including essentially, West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Assam.
In summary, CRS has an outstanding reputation in my field and in this geographic region. And, my sources tell me, that reputation is reflected throughout India.
My experience has been that CRS programming in India is carried out and managed mainly by its highly skilled Indian staff. In my multiple exposures, I have found CRS people and programs to be effective, efficient, transparent and accountable. All programming involves local partners. It develops at and responds to the grassroots--to those most in need without regard to creed, color or caste.
The CRS network is countrywide and subject to audit on many levels including by the GOI and USAID, as well as its own extensive internal and partners' internal auditing functions.
In Indian disaster-management circles, CRS is well-known and highly repected countrywide for its responsiveness to its grassroots partners during emergencies. One key to that is the fact that CRS generally works with those same partners providing ongoing support for programming in such areas as health, water and sanitation, education, agriculture, infrastructure strengthening and village-level savings and banking cooperatives. As first-responders in an emergency, CRS and its partners are already successfully functional and are ALREADY THERE.
My history of involvement has led me to give the highest rating to CRS in India.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen and, in some cases, been a part of mainly rural water and sanitation programs focusing mainly on schools and clinics serving small, poor, rural villages. I have also worked with CRS staff in executive macro-planning groups.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

let more Americans know and appreciate the history of work of CRS in India.

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & Collaborated with CRS programs and partnership network on at least six occasions I can easily recall.