RAJASTHAN GRAMEEN AJEEVIKA VIKAS PARISHAD
Good governance model defines the mechanisms by which governance and processes will be implemented.
In our partnership with RGAVP, efficiency of 42 CLFs was enhanced by creating self-managed income generating models. These efficient governance models provided support to these institutions to define their roles, responsibilities and processes impacting 1,60,000 families across 10 districts.
In Rajasthan, poverty had declined from 50% in 1970 to 24% in 2005, but since the state had the eighth largest population in the country at that time, the absolute number of the poor remained considerably high. In 2000, an estimated 8.65 million people were living below the poverty line.
National Rural Livelihoods Mission was implemented in Rajasthan to battle the challenge of poverty in the communities through providing loans and access to entitlements and rights through grass root institutions. Their performance, however, was found to be mixed particularly in terms of financial linkages and sustainability. Insufficient focus on and resources allocated for institution‐building was considered the main reason for their organizational weaknesses.
We supported Rajasthan Gramin Aajeevika Vikas Parishad (RGAVP) to improve existing public delivery systems in‘Cluster Level Federations’ granting loans to enhance livelihoods of 1.5 lakh community women in Rajasthan. The programme focussed on making 42 CLFs efficient and self-managed through their own income generating models. Generating growth requires an appropriate policy and regulatory framework to be in place, as well as effective institutions to enable implementation. Good governance can be referred as an effective and efficient process of decision making and the process by which decisions are implemented. The power of a governance operating model can lie in its specificity. Governance frameworks define principles and, usually, responsibilities. The Economic Survey (2016-17), brought out by the Government of India, at many instances, identified that good governance is a critical factor for achieving equality, convergence, productive use of resources, efficient public service delivery, etc. But they largely leave individual organizations to define how governance roles will be assigned, how roles will interact, and how responsibilities will be fulfilled.
To address the physical and human resource challenges recruited young professionals with technical expertise in good governance through which LDF was able to set up processes for increased disbursement of government funds to community and in return earn income at the CLF.
LDF unlocked 80 crores of government funds in two years of the partnership and implemented CLF based livelihood models as per the geographical need, such as Custard Apple value chain and custom hiring centre for procurement of agricultural equipment. We facilitated implementation of an employment generation act “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Act” which was the first ever innovative practice in the country.
By the end of the program in 2018, CLFs were declared sustainable with 95% of the community repaying funds regularly, with the World Bank withdrew 50% of the funding from the CLFs as the CLFs had a sustainable model. The annual income of families increased from Rs. 6300 to Rs 9900.
Once we exited, RGAVP recognized the need of a technical expert at the CLF and hired “Cluster Level Managers” across all clusters.
The social mobilisation and galvanisation of women towards formidable social capital, is the bedrock of the program and is quintessential for the sustainability of their livelihoods and LDF was able to achieve it in Rajasthan through addressing governance challenges of community institutions.