Looking at the wide gap between development needs of the rural area and the availability of committed development organisations, GRASP identified committed youths from local area and built their capacities by providing hands on skill training on implementation of successful projects. GRASP extended organisational support, training and exposure whenever these youth and future leaders wanted to set up their own organisations to reach out to more people in new areas. This initiative focussed on building development perspective of local youths and community leaders.
Most critical task in the developmental field is to catalyse change and build community's capacities, which requires a higher calibre and capability, in addition to outreach and extension skills. For which, GRASP joined hands with these VOs for building long-term developmental perspective, build capacities of community institutions and promote scientific approach in action for sustainable change.
In 1999, this initiative culminated in a formal network - Guild of Regional Associates for Community Empowerment (GRACE). It led to a consorted action on regional issues like water management and water governance in developed watersheds, Joint Forest Management, resource mobilisation, etc, which were taken up by the partner organisations with success. Successful implementation of two large projects in Maharashtra - Management of Eco-Resources by Communities (MERC) and Poorest Areas Civil Societies - could be attributed to efforts of GRACE. GRASP's major contribution is acknowledged in promotion and institutional development of these organisations.
Today, members of this network are active in various districts of Marathwada region, like Aurangabad, Jalna, Parbhani and Nanded and in Yavatmal district of Vidarbha region.