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Is Enough Attention Paid to Human Resource Development Issues in CDD Projects? Some Lessons from DPIPs and Karnataka Tanks project. By Self Reliant Initiatives through Joint Action (SRIJAN), New Delhi May 5, 2004. CDD Projects with which SRIJAN Works. Four Central Questions.

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Is Enough Attention Paid to Human Resource Development Issues in CDD Projects? Some Lessons from DPIPs and Karnataka Tanks project


Self Reliant Initiatives through Joint Action (SRIJAN), New Delhi

May 5, 2004


four central questions
Four Central Questions
  • How to get right people and develop staff capacity in the field?
  • Why and how to develop district staff capacity?
  • Why to develop staff capacity in partner civil society organizations (NGOs)?
  • How to renew and revive enthusiasm at mid-term?

Are HID lessons generic enough?

(could the lessons from Indian CDD projects be applied in other countries and other sectors such as health?)


organization of presentation
Organization of Presentation
  • Context of Government, and CDD specifically
  • Human Resources and Institutional Development Strategies in DPIP MP/Rajasthan/AP and Karnataka Tanks
    • Enabling Environment
    • Recruitment and Selection (R&S) System for human resources
    • Capacity Building
  • Impact/Results
  • Lessons for Project/Institutional design


institutional context of cdd projects
Institutional Context of CDD projects
  • Social - political context: feudal relationships creating dependency => elite capture of rural/ local institutions - result => poor outreach of programs, leakage, etc
  • Decentralization to the district level is not being pursued vigorously any more,
  • Existing achievement ratio - 20% (notional figure) - implies poor sustainability of either the project benefits or economic benefits


cdd project context
CDD Project Context
  • Large coverage area (min. 6 to max 14 districts in a state, 2000 to 7000 villages in each state)
  • Bottom up planning and demand or community driven
  • Projects to promote groups and village level structures - key objectives are -- building their capacity and empowerment


concept of a village process facilitation team pft
Concept of a Village Process Facilitation Team (PFT)
  • A full time cadre of people in a facilitative role (facilitator characteristics explained later)
  • Competence to design and implement sub projects (certain intellectual competence) notwithstanding support in technical areas
  • Team of four to five members dedicated
  • A cluster of 20 to 25 villages or about 2500 poor families over a period of five years
  • Base at block headquarters close to the village cluster


typical structure in a cdd project
Typical structure in a CDD project

State Project Support Unit

District Project Support Unit (DPSU)

Village Process Facilitation Team (PFT)

Village 1

Village 2

Village 3

Village n


size of the human resource requirement say in mp
Size of the Human Resource Requirement, say in MP
  • 50 to 60 locations (village clusters) where PFTs need to be set up
  • Need to recruit over 200 to 250 PFT members, and 50 to 60 staff for 14 district units
  • This staff has to come from various departments (who should be willing)


strategies for human resource and institutional development
Strategies for Human Resource and Institutional Development
  • Staff Selection System for ensuring “process sensitive government staff” joins the project
  • Orientation and learner centric capacity building programme for field units
  • Capacity Building at District
  • Partnership with NGOs
  • Enabling Environment and Conditions


hr id strategic intervention one

HR/ID Strategic Intervention –ONE

Staff Selection System


desired characteristics of facilitators to be selected
Desired Characteristics of Facilitators to be selected
  • Motivation to succeed, ability to respond positively to challenges
  • Empathetic attitude towards the poor, and women
  • Intellectual competence at the job
  • Ability to work in a group/ team
  • Integrity


staff selection methodology
Staff Selection Methodology
  • Psychometric (RING TOSS)
  • Achievement Motivation
  • Risk taking/ fear of failure
  • Sociometry
  • (Scored Group Discussion)
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Power and control motivation level
  • Extended Interview (“critical incidents”)
  • Approach to work
  • formula for success/to move up in life

Selected 50 teams in MP


Appraised 25 in Karnataka


  • More than 90 PFTs are in place in 14 districts (more than 250 staff)
  • stronger groups, and stronger process orientation
  • Interesting innovative ideas (rich diversity) – music band, community tube well, sprinkler, tent house


challenges in staff selection from government
Challenges in Staff Selection from Government
  • Getting staff “relieved” from parent departments (a hugely bureaucratic procedure)
  • Difficulty in attracting the right kind at the DPM level (who needs to be a class one officer, and perhaps additional collector rank)
  • Difficulty in finding people for “gender specialist” at the district level, and engineers, Women workers and Agriculture specialists at PFT level from within the government


conclusions and lessons for project design
Conclusions and Lessons for Project Design
  • Process Sensitive Recruitment and Selection system is possible to develop and institutionalize in government,
  • could lead to accelerated filling of positions with individuals having “desired skill - attribute mix.”
  • Voluntary application from individual staff rather than department driven process
  • Word of mouth and “contacts” to identify right people


hr id strategic intervention two

HR/ID Strategic Intervention -TWO

Capacity Building


orientation workshop
Orientation Workshop
  • Purpose:
    • Give common orientation to people coming from different departmental background
    • Acquire basic understanding of DPIP’s objectives, structure, and operational functioning (there is an OM)
    • Appreciate the attitudes required for working with village communities, and its demand driven nature
    • Get an estimate of where they stand in terms of skills, attitudes, and behavior required in this project
    • Finally, this is another occasion to stay or quit the project


five day staff orientation camp
Five Day Staff Orientation Camp

Village Interaction

provides live data

about behavior

Participants Share

Past Experience

Returning to Group

for Processing

the Experience

Ready to Learn

new Skills and Attitudes

Change it for a tribal project?

All PFTs and DPUs

went through it



  • Create a learning environment
    • valuing everyone’s community development experience, crystallizing learning for oneself based on group’s feedback often given in a creative, indirect form such as skit
  • Village assignment
    • to observe oneself in a “lab situation” and generate data about ability to communicate with villagers (esp. Poor and women) and to work as a team
  • Evening sessions to clarify administrative matters related to transfer, posting, and reporting
  • Four types of issues are identified and discussed
    • problem of participation and forming groups,
    • problems of implementation such as release of money, CSR based budgeting, linking with existing groups (such as SHGs and watershed),
    • Administrative issues of coming to work in DPIP
    • Link with administration and PRIs


  • Orientation workshops generated high level of bonding and enthusiasm among participants (PFT members) to take up intensive work in the community
  • More than 20 workshops have been held and approximately 300 plus participants have gone through it
  • Staff are ready to be located close to the villages and spending intensive time with community
  • Better results in terms of assets created in comparison with Rajasthan


  • Need to provide them skills/ confidence to
    • Evolve activities into sub sectors
    • Take up new functions such as marketing, processing etc.
    • Evolving groups into village organisations and linking them with Panchayats
  • Need to have enough capacity building organizations to take up problem solving role as 14 districts are well spread out


hr id strategic intervention three

HR/ID Strategic Intervention -Three

District Capacity Building


district project managers dpms workshop
District Project Managers (DPMs) Workshop
  • DPMs should begin to appreciate the difference between DPIP and other Government poverty alleviation projects
  • their role is sophisticated – DPMs need to understand that rather than using orders and authority their role is to get the work done by the PFTs


dpm workshop village visit
DPM Workshop – Village Visit -
  • Who are the poor in the village visited and what are their main problems/difficulties?
  • What are the difficulties in getting their participation?
  • What has been the process of CIG development in the village?
  • What are the different aspects of PFT’s role in the village/CIG


dpm workshop results
DPM Workshop – Results
  • (more) ready to play facilitative role!!
  • Could not understand why a group was needed
  • keen to play Public Relations role rather than be keen observer of village process
  • Not too keen to read!
  • Reinforcement by State Administration feedback session attended by Secy (RD) – emphasized Facilitative role


  • Not enough decision making power to respond to local situation - Circulars or orders from the state limit this
  • Not enough exposure to successful projects so cannot guide the field teams
  • Still work is not interesting enough to keep them here, and not seek a transfer


product being designed for rajasthan dpip
Product being designed – for Rajasthan DPIP

Livelihood Visioning

and Project planning

at Village Level


DPU culture

Business Process


(scrutiny of groups and

projects that NGO submit)

District Visioning and

Exposure Visits


hr id strategic intervention four

HR/ID Strategic Intervention -Four

Collaboration with Civil Society Organizations or NGOs


field agency selection system
Field Agency Selection System
  • 360 degree Feedback Process – consultation with villagers (clients), staff, leadership including the Board, and district administration
  • Development Impact - Visits to NGOs’ field
  • Integrity - checking account system (trail of bills to debit to a budget item in a project)
  • Governance – Read proceedings of the board meetings
  • Objectivity of the Panel
    • THREE MEMBER TEAM - project admin, academic, NGO background
    • Scoring
    • Feedback to NGO


360 degree method for field agency selection
360 Degree Method for Field Agency Selection


Developmental Processes

and Impact in

NGO Villages

NGO Governance

(Interact with Board)

3 Member


Check out with

District Administration

Interact with Staff

(Skills and Attitudes)




challenges in rajasthan and karnataka
Challenges in Rajasthan and Karnataka
  • Assumption is NGOs have the manpower and the capacity, the fact is large number of NGOs come up afresh (83 in Rajasthan, 58 in Karnataka)
  • Project tends to ignore HR needs of NGO teams – “contracts for performance”? 412 groups and sub projects in two years’ time, by a team of 5-6 people.
  • NGOs serving merely as body-shops?


hr id strategic intervention five

HR/ID Strategic Intervention -Five

Enabling Environment


core values
Core Values
  • Participation and Ownership of Community
  • Transparency
  • Collaboration
  • Empathy With Poor


enabling conditions
Enabling Conditions
  • Travel norms modified – women members are given additional allowance, soft loan for vehicles ( 4% interest subsidy),Money for office support
  • Project allowance – approximately 10 to 25 percent including HRA
  • Incentives for performance (Mobile phones and jeep allowance if project investment target is met)
  • Flexibility – people could try new things and make mistakes
  • Access to state leadership and state project unit
  • Trust the staff - Technical Assistance could be sourced from anywhere, TS powers with PFT


lessons for project design
Lessons For Project Design
  • District units need to be empowered too with CB inputs
  • Three phase design (i) start up phase to get the village process going, (ii) consolidation phase for district capacity build up, and (iii) acceleration phase for taking activities into sub sectors or regional development
  • Capacity Building needs evolve, should respond to field results as they occur
  • NGO partnership needs serious re-thinking, can’t be managed through “performance contracts” to realize their potential as empowerment and poverty reduction agents
  • State vision development - involvement of political and high level bureaucratic involvement is absolute must



Thank You