Work Conditions

ADATS believes that a parity has to be found between the personal and the political. The way we development workers live and work has a direct bearing on what we turn out. Over the years, we have tried to evolve a woman-friendly environment which goes beyond making women colleagues feel comfortable. It makes living and working a pleasure, and enhances everyone’s overall performance.

New persons are invited to join us on a trial period which lasts for 1-3 months. During this time we mutually decide not just where her contribution will be, but also whether she will fit into and contribute to the overall organisational culture. These things work only when they are not abused. If someone starts continually off loading their emotional baggage and private frustrations without making serious efforts to get a grip and move on, then the situation becomes insufferable. If the openness and freedom are misused to take too much time off, other people’s work burden increases unfairly and the job gets left undone.

An ironic paradox in ADATS − as different from the Coolie Sangha − is that democratic instruments are not used to settle organisational problems. Instead the project leadership at each campus takes tough decisions to solve problems. This does not mean that discussions are disallowed or that project leaders run rough shod over the rest. There are enough checks and balances in the system to spot this tendency at an early stage.