How to overcome the governance challenges of implementing NREGA
Large-scale social safety net programs such as Indias National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) are difficult to implement due to governance challenges related to elite capture, leakages, and corruption. The ability to identify how the governance challenges of program implementation can be met requires detailed insights into the actual process of program implementation, with clear views on the source of leakage and mismanagement, the sensitivity of program implementation to the influence of different actors, local power structures and informal bureaucratic processes. This paper uses a new participatory research method, referred to as Process-Influence Mapping, to shed light on these issues and related governance challenges, using the implementation of NREGA as an example. The Process-Influence Mapping tool helps identify the specific features of the NREGA implementation process that limit the programs effectiveness (for example, elite capture in the definition of work and capacity limitations due to staff shortages and lack of training) and create scope for the misappropriation of funds. The insights gained can be used to identify policy options for reforming the administrative process of NREGA implementation so as to create an effective social safety net.
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- Pritchett, Lant & Woolcock, Michael, 2004. "Solutions When the Solution is the Problem: Arraying the Disarray in Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 191-212, February.
- World Bank, 2007. "Tools for Institutional, Political, and Social Analysis of Policy Reform : A Sourcebook for Development Practitioners," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6652.
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