Development Alternatives (DA) was organized in 1983 as the first social enterprise to specifically promote sustainable national development in India. DA is a widely recognized innovation organization whose primary mission is to create the means of generating sustainable livelihood options and basic-needs products in the Third World on a large scale. Its main fields of work include alternative technologies, natural resource management and effective institutional design.
DA has developed numerous technologies that deliver products in such fields as cost-effective and low energy housing, energy services, cooking, water, sanitation, handloom textiles, and handmade recycled paper. These technologies are designed to be the basis of commercially viable enterprises.
It is today one of the premier environmental organizations in India. It has pioneered a wide variety of environmental and resource management techniques which are relevant to the needs of public agencies, corporate industry and grassroots organizations.
In the field of institutional design, it has worked on the governance, information and financing systems needed to underpin sustainable development.
Implementation of the innovations of DA is the responsibility of its sister organizations - People First and TARA - and of their subsidiaries - DESI Power Pvt Ltd, TARAhaat and TARA Nirman Kendras.
Development Alternatives and its associate organizations operate on the philosophy that sustainable development benefits not only the economy, but also the environment and above all - the people. The Development Alternatives Group is, therefore, dedicated to bring about a better balance among the basic prerequisites of sustainable development: social equity, environmental quality and economic efficiency.