Primarily born to provide relief and rehabilitation to the refugees at the time of painful Indo-Pak partisan, CASA started to become a household name in areas which were struck by humanitarian crisis and different forms of disasters. The belief to ‘see the picture through victims’ eyes’ gave CASA an upper-hand in immediately responding to people in grave situations.
In 1980s, CASA’s need-based approach focussed on building awareness and capacity of the reference communities in distress besides continuing the role of a rehabilitator. CASA’s Core Programmes or direct interventions focused on building and strengthening Community Based Organizations (CBOs).
From creating awareness on issues like livelihood to gender mainstreaming, CASA had been building capacities of local organisations that were owned and managed by the community itself.
Due to changing context, the approach of the organisation shifted to issue-based approach in 1990s. CASA realised the importance of addressing the root cause of problems.
It understood that it was extremely important to re-look the manifestations in order to address the existing structural poverty. Studies like the Participatory Strategic Planning (PSP) and other context assessments on a periodic basis are being undertaken in different states to identify the real issues responsible for poverty.
The thrust in the 90s was on linking efforts at the micro level (village level) with macro (national) level actions for a sustainable change.
But the dawn of a new millennium (at the end of year 2000) required the organisation to undergo a change. The role of CASA significantly changed to that of a facilitator. Rights-based approach (RBA) emerged as a key instrument for addressing the structural causes of poverty, inequality and injustice. The organisation focussed on mobilising and encouraging the communities to facilitate the process of change and motivated them towards social transformation.
CASA helped people to connect them to government welfare schemes as it was their right to avail the facilities. Networking, advocacy and collective action became an instrument to strengthen people’s movements.
The Participatory Strategic Planning (PSP) and other process have resulted in identification of key thrust areas and articulation of the perspective plan for the current decade. This periodic assessment has enabled CASA to be contextual, relevant and led to integration of the needs and aspirations of its reference community in its organizational and programme functions.