Evaluation Study on District Poverty Initiatives Project in Madhya Pradesh

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Evaluation Study on District Poverty Initiatives Project in Madhya Pradesh Summary Independent evaluation of the past poverty alleviation schemes has shown that intended benefits did not adequately reach the target groups because of a number of weaknesses in design and implementation. Generally, the development schemes have been formulated and implemented in a top-down and target oriented manner, while the poor have been the passive recipients of benefits (see PEO Studies on MSY, 1996; EAS, 2000; KVIC, 2001; TPDS, 2005). Diagnostic analyses in these evaluation studies revealed that successes of development interventions largely depended on active and meaningful participation of the people and their institutions in decision making. Because of such lessons from experience, the last decade has seen a number of development initiatives with varied thrust on community participation and empowerment, decentralized decision-making, transparency and an active role of the PRIs in their planning and execution. The district poverty initiatives project (DPIP) being implemented in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan is a poverty alleviation program designed to empower people for self development so that the poor create and manage their own development opportunities. The DPIP targets socially and economically disadvantaged groups, particularly: • the SC/ST households; • households migrating out for wage employment; • households without proper shelters/ dwellings; • women and women headed households;

The Project
The Madhya Pradesh District Poverty Initiatives Project (MPDPIP) was launched in March 2001 in 2932 villages, spread over 53 blocks of 14 districts of the State to improve the economic wellbeing of the poor. The project is scheduled to be completed in June 2006. The strategies of DPIP are different

Summary of the Evaluation Study on DPIP (M.P.); PEO Study No. 193(2005)

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from those being used in other rural poverty alleviation schemes (e.g. SGRY, SGSY), which also provide for people’s participation and decentralized decision-making. The strategies proposed to be used in the implementation of DPIP include: sensitization of people about economic opportunities and fostering group formation (CIGs) on the basis of common problems and interest; making funds available with the CIGs and ensuring that the group investments are demand driven; formation of Project Facilitation Teams (PFTs) for a cluster of 25-30 villages to guide the villagers for self-development and providing them with the support mechanism like, technical skill, credit, extension and other services by linking the CIGs with service providers; developing a sense of ownership and a culture of local financing, cost recovery and user charges by motivating the beneficiaries to contribute to CIG fund and Gram-Kosh (maintenance fund); encouraging participatory functioning by monitoring local decisionmaking processes to ensure proper use of funds; involving the PRIs at the district and village levels for budgeting and monitoring; and ensuring transparency through information sharing, analysis of successes/failures and peer review at all levels.

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Institutional Structure for Implementation
The DPIP has a decentralized institutional structure with key decision making and implementation responsibility. • At village level, the villagers are motivated (by the PFTs) to participate in a wealth ranking process for identification of the target households and then facilitated to form CIGs–each with at least 5 members. The CIGs are required to identify and execute all investment activities. The project fund (Rs.20,000 X No. of Members) is placed directly in their bank accounts. A Village Development Committee (VDC) constituted with members drawn from the CIGs and the village panchayat is entrusted with the task of approving/ vetting the sub-projects proposed by CIGs and forwarding the Summary of the Evaluation Study on DPIP...
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