Way Back in 1984 a group of medical professionals who won national and international renown for the selfless innovative projects in the area of community health in rural Maharashtra came together to reflect how to strengthen the numerous NGOs in their efforts to deliver a variety of social services to the poor and disadvantaged sections of the society. They noticed several gaps in the institutional framework within which this voluntary agencies functioned – gaps and information, gaps in resources, gaps in skills.

Thus was born the idea to set up a support organization which would help NGOs overcome this handicap that they could carry out their mission of helping more effectively.

The result was SOSVA – Society for Service to Voluntary Agencies

It would assist NGOs identify projects help them in project preparation, securing grants from national and international agencies including government, guide them in implementing projects, secure for them human resources and building of their staff.

To this end, SOSVA took a serious of initiatives in the area of
Project Promotion – as a nodal agency
Training – for capacity buildings
Information – through publications
Volunteering – for human resources
Physical resources – like medial equipment and stores
(Hyper link for all these activities)

SOSVA’s initial efforts were in the fields of health which was its founder’s forte. Activities soon spread out to other areas like Family Welfare, Education, Women’s Development and Environment. Gradually SOSVA carried out banner from Mah. to other States like Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi thus reaching potential hinterland comprising 22.5% of the country’s population.

In 1991, SOSVA initiated the idea of an intermediary / promotional agency which could identify suitable NGOs promote their projects, obtain financing and assist in project implementation, technically managerially and procedurally. The Government of India later introduced with modifications a similar approach called the Mother Unit Scheme as a consequence today NGOs have access to mature and experienced “Mothers” who are there to guide them in these aspects. The idea was later adopted in other departments of the ministry and the government is considering extension of the concept to other sectors.

As the activities stabilized and the organizations matured, SOSVA following its strategy of establishment consolidation and divestment, helped operations to be organized into separate entitles namely SOSVA Karnataka (2000), SOSVA – Delhi, Punjab & Haryana (2001) and SOSVA – Chandigarh (2001).

Activities of the project promotion and training were also detailed to a separate institution – SOSVA Training and Promotional Institute (STAPI) (hyperlink) in 2001. These were done to enable SOSVA focus on conceptualizing innovative solutions to emergent challenges.

  Why STAPI?
  • Vast Experience in the sector
  • Past performance, achievements and track records
  • Eminent personalities in the governing council
  • Capable of replicating ‘Role Models’ in other states.
  • Has ability to supplement and complement Govt.’s efforts for bringing out the social change.


STAPI is following a seven pronged strategy as an institution that thinks and acts for the entire voluntary sector. This strategy includes:

  1. Increasing Sectors: STAPI is enhancing the capacity building of NGOs  for diversification to other sectors like  family welfare. Women empowerment, maternal and child care, female education and in fact most sectors of social development. STAPI thus maximizes their effectiveness and efficiency by:
    • Assisting them in a variety of ways to build up financial, managerial and technical capacity.
    • Motivating them for diversification into multi-sectoral development
    • Providing Project implementation assistance to such NGOs. Thus it services the entire range of NGOs by offering services such as workshops, newsletters and information services.
  2. Increased Coverage: SOSVA   our present organization  has established its presence in  the states of Karnataka, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory of Chandigarh  including Maharashtra, .
  3. By acting as a networking agent, STAPI has also established linkages between NGOs, Government, quasi government bodies, foreign and Indian foundations and funding agencies. This has increased substantially the scope of depth of services available to the NGOs.
  4. Increasing range of services: Starting from training and promotion of projects against the POVH – II Scheme, SOSVA  now  STAPI  has expanded its range of support services to include promotion of NGO projects against all major government schemes and other funding agencies, co-financing of NGO projects, technical inputs through training seminars, publications, information dissemination, consultancy on operational matters of law, accounts, all of which focus on anti poverty programmes of the NGOs.
  5. Advocacy: SOSVA  now STAPI has been actively campaigning WITH Government authorities on various advocacy issues pertaining to  Voluntary Sector ,for sustainable social development.
  6. Emphasis of Innovations: STAPI OSVA has always emphasized the need for finding innovative solutions to the problems of the NGOs. SOSVA  and STAPI itself are an innovative institutions and probably one of its kind in the country.