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Status Report on Convergence Initiatives in India – An Overview CWEPA, NIRD
1st generation problems- 100 days; quality & durable assets; institutional strengthening; demand driven/ empowerment. • Convergence framework of MoRD-- scope for the value addition * optimization of resources. • May 2009 - 123 districts spread over 22 states covering (168 pilot projects) with the Departments of MoWR, MoE&F and ICAR and also State / local initiatives. • Develop a roadmap for convergence under NREGA for replication of innovative initiatives & strengthening of PRIs as well as CBOs
Key issues • Type of convergence(s) attempted/ Scope for simultaneous convergence • How participatory was the process adopted – Involvement of PRIs or local bodies. • Scope of the multi-sectoral collaboration for project sustainability and maximize the benefits
Institutional arrangement identification of convergence projects at the community level for wider acceptance and ownership • Successful/innovative projects for replication • Addressing various factors hindering the convergence planning for achieving synergy and optimization of resources
Main lessons learnt • Need for convergence among development programmes is not well recognised • Ignorance about the approach to be followed for bringing convergence between line departments and also to involve the local community. • Attitude of the officials-- line departments’ reluctance on account of non-negotiable of NREGS • understaffing in the line departments • - lending the services of the contract staff on activity specific basis to line departments where needed • - involvement of local CBOs in implementation
Timely flow of (adequate) funds • - to create a ‘Common Fund Account’ as in AP • - creating a ‘convergence fund’ at the district level to overcome the delays in fund flow to line departments and other contingencies . • Maintenance of 60:40 wage –material ratio • - DPC to examine the scope for using BRG funds • - flexibility in the norms in selected cases for durability and sustainability of funds. • Some of the states like MP - transferring funds to line departments and latter is responsible for planning, implementation, wage payment and monitoring of the scheme.
(Efforts should be made by all the concerned at various levels to view the convergence theme as an opportunity to promote partnership mode of development) • NREGA envisages empowerment of the community and strengthening of PRIs. (e.g. West Bengal, AP, Kerala, HP, Gujarat…) communities have been consulted in planning and implementation of convergence projects. The presence of matured and large number of SHGs facilitated this process. (These good practices should be scaled up). • Capacity building of CBOs - with BRGF and for local level planning at GP level.
GPs are more vibrant in a few states (e.g. West Bengal, Kerala and Gujarat). Convergence projects with the initiative of GP and IP along with the SHGs in West Bengal are good examples of sustainable convergence initiatives GPs can play a crucial role in the preparation of comprehensive GP plan with the community members.
Thematic convergence under NREGS e.g. “Swarnim Society’ scheme • Initiatives with focus on primitive tribal groups in the convergence planning • Maintenance arrangements
Road map for convergence • To streamline the communication process - nominate a senior official as coordinator of convergence projects. • Greater clarity about the roles and responsibilities and institutional arrangements under convergence- Participatory project planning with all stakeholders. • People centric convergence planning – discussions of projects in Gram Sabhas.
Where PRIs are strong, convergence in planning can be made mandatory in the agenda of meeting for the Panchayats at the respective level. In other regions, the standing committees composed of officials and elected representatives can be formed to provide institutional platform for convergence at the grass root.
Building the capacities of officials in planning and implementation of (convergence) projects in a partnership mode, SIRDs and reputed NGOs (who have experimented with convergence) should be entrusted with organization of short-duration training programmes dealing with concepts, issues, approaches (-joint preparation of projects, implementation and monitoring) of convergence under NREGS.
A special module on ‘Attitudes and behaviorual change’ to sensitise the functionaries. • Exposure visits. • Project coordinators of innovative convergence projects as resource person. • Documenting some of the successful convergence projects (including making of film) for wider sharing with other DPCs and Project Directors to promote replication of innovations. • A small module on social audit
Since convergence aims at consultative process and meeting the local needs, reputed NGOs may be entrusted with capacity building of elected representatives and CBO leaders about this dimension. The community involvement in the convergence projects in all stages would dilute the resistance presently noticed among officials of line departments to converge with NREGS.
Award of Excellence in NREGA Administration - incentive framework for the DPCs and others to implement the convergence projects in an innovative and efficient way. • Government of India and state may also institute awards for innovative projects in convergence mode.
The ‘Integrated District Planning’ with community participation would be an appropriate framework facilitating emergence of convergence initiatives - sector-wise planning and natural integration of schemes across sectors. Line departments have to provide technical support (without use of Jargon) to the community. • (V Ramchandran committee underlined the need of preparing Panchayat plan through participatory approach, on three aspects: human development, infrastructure development and development of productive sectors. At the GP level – taking into account, sector wise shortfalls, community felt needs and resource availability- GP plan can be conceived).
Role sharing and pooling of available resources would automatically lead to development of the practice of convergence. • A comprehensive resource planning in each village under NREGA, would help identifying projects requiring inputs from various agencies / departments for creation of quality and durable assets. • Such practices would help in accommodating the regional and cultural diversity and institutionalize planning process in the long run.
Under decentralized planning through community involvement, generation of volunteerism and ownership followed by partnership of community in the process can be expected. • Community knowledge and innovations could be useful inputs in designing interventions. • GIS applications have been gaining currency in RD including NREGA.
‘value addition’ dimension can be taken into account while planning convergence of technology centric and skill enhancement orientation schemes with NREGA. • (These types of convergence interventions would benefit SC/ST farmers and BPL farmers for improving their livelihood support systems on a sustainable basis).
To mitigate the effects of global warming on agriculture and allied sectors, NREGA, line departments and other technical institutions to evolve a common strategy and work together in revitalizing the agriculture to ensure food and livelihood security. (The ‘Sparsh’ project of Gujarat is conceptually a robust one in this regard). • Gradually, NREGA planning should shift to convergence mode for optimal use of resources and creation of quality assets.
Chhattisgarh • Planning process is underway for convergence projects • Works are proposed by the Gram Panchayats -consolidation at the block - approval and sanction by ZP. • Self reliance of Baiga (PTG) tribes through Sericulture in Kabirdham • Livelihood security for 10,000 tribals. • NREGS+ Sericulture Department +BRGF. (approach road &Land leveling, stop dam -NREGS; building for Sericulture Unit &JE for maintenance- Sericulture department
Silk Worm rearing Baiga Women with Silk cocoons
Plant Nursery – Vermicompost Project • NREGS+Forest Department +SGSY. • WBM approach road, land leveling and plantation - NREGS. • Raising * maintenance of nursery worth of Rs. 31.20 lakh; free distribution of saplings -. Forest Department • Vermicompost pits with the waste material coming out of the nursery (-NREGS). Managed by SHG (Jai Narmade Swayam Sahayata Samooh) . • 5 lakh plants have been distributed. Rs. 2 lakh profit to SHG members. This has been replicated elsewhere also in near by GPs
Plant Nursery SHG Members working in Vermicompost pit
Bastar Haat (Eco tourism) In Bastar, waste land is converted into tourist spot ‘Bastar Haat’ using the funds from NREGS, RSVY, SGSY and 12th Finance Commission and expertise of KVK. Vegetable cultivation in Lowland and utilization harvested water by the paddle operated pump.
JHARKHAND • East Singhbhum - DFO, Daalbhum Forest Division-- • Schemes of central, state and NREGS • Development of highly degraded large track (70 ha) of scrub forest into green theme bio-diversity (>100species) park by. TRIPURA West Tripura – convergence of NREGS with Rubber Board and Fisheries Dept..
Bongaigaon Artificial regeneration project was taken up in 100 hectares, cashew plantation in 50 hectares and afforestation in 250 hectares of land. NREGS + Technical support division Cashew seedling in nursery
Nursery rising for artificial regeneration Job card holders engaged in nursery
RAJASTHAN Harit Rajasthan (2009) Novel initiative started to cope up with the drought conditions of Rajasthan, by collaboration of all the departments like Forest, PWD, Education, Health, Industries, Transport, Defense and Paramilitary, NGOs etc –plantation work. Till 2/01/2010, 274.88 lakh plants have been planted.
Women carrying the plants to be planted under Harit Rajasthan in Sikar district
WEST BENGAL • NREGS, SGSY, NABARD, State Agriculture University (BCKV), local lab and Agriculture Department. • Poultry training cum chick production unit for SGSY swarojgaries (Natungram village) • NREGS, SGSY, MLA-LAD, 12th Finance Commission fund, Animal Resource Department and a local NGO (Shyamsunder Sister Nivedita Sangh) a perceptual impact on the lives of poor.