Local Bodies

Strengthening Capacity Building for Local Functionaries: A Case of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in South Indian State of Andhra Pradesh

Abstract: 
India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) which is renamed as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (from 2010) is considered as one of the most creative initiatives of post Independent India in the field of social policy. The most novel and remarkable feature of MGNREGS are i) it is legally binding response by the State to ensure Right to Work to the poor and unemployed persons (up to 100 days of employment for every household in a year) ii) provision for unemployment allowance to be paid to the workers in case the State is unable to provide the guaranteed days of work. The present paper has evaluated a total 793 respondents that include 180 Elected Representatives, 48 Block Development Officials, 193 grassroots level field implementers and 231 worker participants etc. on the efficacy of local capacity building imparted by Andhra Pradesh State Institute of Rural Development (An Apex State Level Training Institute for Rural Development Programmes) to improve the efficiency of NRGS implementation. As a part of this exercise, the key issues the study looked at are: programme design, content, teaching methods (pedagogy issues), delivery of information on the subject; to analyse the perceptions of the BDOs, Assistant Project Officers and Technical Assistants involved in NREGS on the utility of the training programmes in improving their capabilities; iii) to elicit the perceptions of NREGS participants on the performance of field functionaries; to examine the opinion of the elected representatives on the relevance of the training programmes and lastly to identify the key gaps in capacity building programmes and recommend future policy pointers to the Government. The study was done in three districts representing three development zones in the state covering 45 village panchayats (local councils).
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