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Study for Quick Appraisal of NREGA In A.P. Study Sponsored by MORD, GOI and UNDP. 08-04-2009 Administrative Staff College of India Bella Vista, Hyderabad-500 082. Study Objective. To quickly appraise the progress and problems in the implementation of NREGA in A.P.

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Study for Quick Appraisal of


Study Sponsored by MORD, GOI and UNDP


Administrative Staff College of India

Bella Vista, Hyderabad-500 082


Study Objective

  • To quickly appraise the progress and problems in the implementation of NREGA in A.P.
  • The focus of the study has been on understanding the impact of NREGA on beneficiary families and communities at large.
  • Further, the study has been oriented towards identifying opportunities for strengthening the programme management rather than pin-pointing weaknesses.



Approach & Methodology

  • Three districts, Guntur (phase-II); Anantapur and Adilabad (both phase-I) were selected for their diversity and distinctiveness.
  • Each of the districts is also representative of its geographical region within the state.
  • The methodology was qualitative combining interviews with semi structured questionnaires, focus group discussions and development of case lets. 10 beneficiaries and 5 non-beneficiaries were sampled by judgment in each village.



Table 3.1 Sample Plan for NREGA Appraisal


Mandal/ Block

Gram Panchayat- Village

Adilabad (Phase-I)


Babjhari, H. Kothapalli, Gunjal and Mahagam


Chaprala, Dhoptala, Telengaraoguda and Manyarpur

Guntur (Phase-II)


Chandrajupalem,Venkatayapa-lem, Nandirajupalem and Papayapalem


Gadavaripalem,Gudipadu, Peesapadu and Garikapadu

Anantapur (Phase-I)


P. Yaleru, Goridindla, P. Kothapalli

And Pampanur


Peravali, Lolur, Akuledu and


Sample Plan for the Study



Study Team

  • A team of ten Field Investigators and four Research Associates with post graduate academic background in social sciences participated.
  • Their deployment in the field was preceded by self study as well as contact based orientation sessions to update their knowledge of NREGA, interviewing and group discussion techniques.
  • Each field investigator was a non-participant observer of NREGA works in the selected village for a minimum of three days and nights.



Data Analysis and Findings

  • Balanced participation of all social groups with members of SC and STs making up nearly 55% of the beneficiaries across the three districts.
  • Most beneficiaries were illiterate
  • Except Guntur district where the women wage seekers preferred farm work, in the other two districts, they accounted for more than 30% of the active wage seekers.
  • The level of awareness about NREGA was high among 70% of the beneficiaries.



Data Analysis and Findings (contd.)

  • More than 50% of the families had two members-wife and husband, opting for work.
  • The average waiting time for employment was less than 15 days for 90% of the beneficiaries.
  • 50% of the beneficiaries had to wait more than 15 days for receipt of wage payment.
  • Nearly 90% of the beneficiaries expressed satisfaction with the NREGA work environment and two thirds were willing to be reemployed.



Data Analysis and Findings (contd.)

  • Anantapur district reported improvement in ground water as the greatest community benefit.
  • Guntur district valued assets that were created under NREGA – roads, field channels etc.
  • In Adilabad district, NREGA has helped improve the functioning of Gram Panchayats.
  • Across all the three districts, improved agricultural productivity was reported as the greatest community benefit besides economic and social empowerment of women.



Data Analysis and Findings (contd.)

  • At the level of beneficiary families, access to more and better quality of food has been evident.
  • Within and across the districts, migration has been contained with concomitant benefits like stronger family bonds and children’s education.
  • SHGs have benefited with better recoveries.
  • Most beneficiaries believe that the financial discipline, frequency and quality of meetings and vertical linkages within the PRIs have improved.



Programme Shortcomings

  • A strong target orientation towards NREGA.
  • The participation of Gram Panchayats and intermediate PRIs remains marginal.
  • Within the official machinery, there is lack of ownership of the programme at district level.
  • Unemployment allowance is out of reckoning.
  • A sense of skepticism about the sustainability of the shelf of projects in the longer term.
  • Field Assistant remains the weakest link.




  • Unprecedented financial inclusion of the rural poor as wage payments are routed through I.P.
  • Schematic convergence with NHM, MIP, Housing, ITDAs and DRDAs.
  • A state of the art MIS with a suite of options to access and obtain data from state to village level.
  • Media publicity leading to more transparency.
  • Development of assigned lands has contributed to increased cultivable farm land.



Recommendations – The 7 ‘S’ Way

  • Strategy – Need to tone down the target orientation among project personnel. A PIN like mechanism at the state level needed urgently to enrich the role of PRIs in identifying projects.
  • Structure – The dual roles for DPCO (DC-PD) and PO at block level be dispensed with. Terms of engagement of project personnel need review.
  • Systems – The postal system at the branch level is not geared to deliver at present. While strengthening it, step up the smart card scheme.



Recommendations (contd.)

  • Style – Need for a project focused leadership style that is more participatory.
  • Skills – Capacity building of APOs, TAs and FAs with focus on HRM and people processes.
  • Staff – The staffing pattern at the level of FAs and TAs leaves scope for rationalisation.
  • Shared Values – A set of core values should guide a programme like NREGA which is viewed as the ‘Mother of all rural development projects’.