By virtue of being a network, AIACA engages in policy advocacy through research and policy dialogue with multiple stakeholders to bring core issues of this sector to the forefront and discuss practical solutions, as well as address the voices of the artisans and crafts workers themselves.
AIACA works on a two pronged approach wherein it represents artisan clusters and producer organizations; it works with MSMEs in the crafts sector on one hand and operates very closely with a network of industry bodies, buyers, exporters, etc. on the other. AIACA takes a holistic and integrated approach and focusses on economic and social growth, and sustainable livelihood as core issues of development.
Despite being one of the largest employers in India, the crafts sector has not been receiving the policy support it deserves. Dearth of organised data, unavailability of information and the unorganised nature of the sector prevents effective change.The rapidly changing economic scenario within India is creating new threats and opportunities for the handloom and handicraft sectors.
In this backdrop, AIACA works on policy advocacy and research, and development of policy frameworks and reports for the transition of the crafts sector into an organized, entrepreneurial and competitive sector of the mainstream economy that improves income and living standards of artisans and weavers. The Policy Research and Advocacy vertical at AIACA seeks to address the following objectives:
AIACA has successfully worked toward a policy approach and has brought about a shift in the sector from a welfare approach to a more enterprise led approach for growth of craft enterprises. Policy advocacy and strategy development for effective programme implementation are key areas where AIACA has continued to contribute as an apex body in the sector.
AIACA organized a Policy Conference titled “The Crafts Sector: A Green Perspective” to initiate a dialogue on aspects of environmental sustainability, an inherent quality of the Indian handicraft sector. It attracted multi stakeholder participation from government, crafts enterprises, markets, designers, international bodies such as European Union, and other important stakeholders. The deliberations were based on the premise that the handicrafts and handloom sectors of India are essentially and traditionally environment friendly and carry the USP of being local, indigenous, culturally rooted, socially and economically enabling for the communities who have held these knowledge systems for centuries.