• Chief Minister's visit at Sanitary Park kanker-Chhatisgarh
    Chief Minister's visit at Sanitary Park kanker-Chhatisgarh (Technical support provided by Samarthan in preparation of the Sanitary Park)
  • Community lead total Sanitation book in Hindi released by ChiefMinister Chhatisgarh
    Community lead total Sanitation book in Hindi released by ChiefMinister Chhatisgarh (Book prepared by Samarthan and printed by district administration kanker)
  • Bundelkhan CSs meeting in Jahani
  • Identifying the rights of migrants and their families
  • Bundelkhan CSs meeting in Jahani MNREGA

District Governance

Development scenario of M.P and Chhattisgarh: pointers for future strategy

Challenges in NRHM implementation in Madhya Pradesh

The condition of health particularly from the point of view of women and children is very poor in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Madhya Pradesh has the 2nd highest IMR at 85 per 1000 live birth (as compared to 64 of the National average). In Chhattisgarh, the IMR is 63 which are almost the same as national average. The status of immunisation in Madhya Pradesh is also very low at 22.4% for children aged between 1 to 2 years. As high as 37% of deaths in the state occur in the age group of 0 to 4 years show the kind of negligence towards the health of children. The death rate of children below 5 years is as high as 45 per 1000 in Chhattisgarh[1]. Despite the ‘Bal Sanjivani’ programme being run in Madhya Pradesh since 2001, there have been a large number of malnutrition deaths[2]. In Chhattisgarh, the proportion of malnourished children below 5 years of age is as high as 52%. The female sex ratio has also fallen from 945 in 1951 to 920 in the year 2001. The Maternal Mortality rate of Madhya Pradesh is at 498 which 3rd highest in the country. In Chhattisgarh the MMR is 379. In Madhya Pradesh nearly 40% women are undernourished and suffer from some grade of Chronic Energy Deficiency.

All this is coupled with the fact that the states’ expenditure on health has declined from 5.1% in 2000-01 to 3.4% in 2004-05 shows that the condition of health sector in the state is considerably poor[3]. Despite the ambitious programme of NRHM which aims at improving the Public Health Service facilities for the rural poor, the condition of health in the state seems to be deteriorating. It is realised that the inefficiency in the supply of services is a key issue which need to be highlighted by the citizens and civil society groups.

Challenges in NREGS Implementation in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh

With 37 percent of its population living below poverty line as against the all India average of 26 percent, Madhya Pradesh is amongst the poorest states in the country. NREGA has provided an opportunity for engaging the rural workforce with substantial work opportunities within the villages when the workers need work. The NREGS has been projected as one of the most successful schemes being implemented by Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The national comparison shows that Madhya Pradesh is ranked 3rd and Chhattisgarh as 6th as compared to the other states[4].

However there remain several challenges in the implementation of the scheme. The challenges at the level of efficiency in managing the implementation of the programme particularly remain unaddressed. There are delays and inefficiency at the level of technical sanction, approval of the plan, measurement of work, release of funds to the Panchayats, and release of funds even to the district. In nearly 26% Panchayats there is a delay of more than 15 days in getting technical sanction. In Madhya Pradesh there is a delay of more than 15 days in release of funds in 40% Panchayats[5]. The average workdays generated per household per annum is as low as 21.28 in Madhya Pradesh and 41.74 in Chhattisgarh[6]. The number of households receiving 100 days of work under NREGS is as low as 11.9% in Madhya Pradesh and 7.05% in Chhattisgarh[7]. There is a difference between what is planned by the Panchayat and what is actually being implemented under the scheme.

Several of these factors actually lead to inefficient delivery of the scheme at the Panchayat level. While there is a lot of focus on making Panchayats accountable, there is hardly any effort going on for increasing the efficiency of implementation of the scheme at the block and higher levels. Moreover, Panchayats do not have collective strength to withstand the undue demands of the district administration and succumb to the corrupt practices. The state machinery has sufficient resources for the capacity building of the Panchayat representatives as well as field functionaries. However, very little attention is paid for the capacity building as Panchayats and civil society has not been able to systematically lobby with empirical evidence.

Challenges in Social Security for Urban Poor

Urbanizations in Madhya Pradesh gained momentum in 1971-81 when urban growth rate was amazing 52.9%.Though the growth rate since then has tapered off; even then the decadal growth rate currently is 32%, which is higher than the National average. Currently 27% of the population of Madhya Pradesh lives in the urban areas. What is unfortunate is that the approximately 10,00,000[8] of the urban households belong to poor. Three hundred and thirty eight urban local bodies in Madhya Pradesh house these 10 lakh poor and very poor households.

The urban poor often face economic barriers to accessing municipal services, such as high entry costs, recurring costs and hidden costs as a result of systemic inefficiencies. In addition, their access to municipal services may be constrained by social factors, such as gender, social taboo, caste, ethnicity or illiteracy. Policy issues such as exclusion of irregular or unauthorized dwelling places and lack of documentary evidence of residence or status can keep people away from regular provisioning of municipal services. Geographical or environmental factors, such as the high costs of providing services to geographically difficult locations or simply the lack of service coverage in some locations can also keep entire groups outside the service network. All of these factors tend to impact disproportionately upon the poor and social groups within the poor, and result in forcing them towards informal service provision arrangements The government provides three basic services – old age pension, widow pension and pension to handicapped person to the urban poor. The eligibility criteria for availing benefits from these schemes are ambiguous and unknown to the community. The procedure for getting the benefits under these schemes is quite complicated which leads to scope for manipulation by corrupt officials down the line.

Detailed Strategy for intervention under the project

The broad strategy of Samarthan in this phase of Ford Foundation support will be primarily to upscale earlier interventions.  Instead of working directly at the village Panchayat or block level, there will be an attempt to affect the district level implementation of programmes and influence state level policy and practice in selective thematic areas viz. right to employment (NREGA) and right to health (NRHM) by strengthening institutions of local self governance.

The interventions will be based on three premises (a) Knowledge generation (b) dissemination of learnings (c) empowering community and civil society for advocacy.  Samarthan will be conscious that the grassroots experiences and knowledge generated on the bottlenecks and learnings are systematically shared with several stakeholder groups so that necessary change may happen in favour of impacting the life of the poor. Promoting our belief that people should be in the centre of advocacy, efforts will be directed towards building capacities of peoples’ institutions and civil society actors.


[1] State Planning Board – Chhattisgarh

[2] Hindustan Times (September 15 2008)

[3] Miles to Go – MDG report of Samarthan

[4] Status of NREGA Implementation – 2nd Monitoring report (PACS Programme)

[5] Panchayat Level Schedule Data: PACS CSO Survey

[6] Status of NREGA Implementation – 2nd Monitoring report (PACS Programme)

[7] Status of NREGA Implementation – 2nd Monitoring report (PACS Programme)

[8] Annual Administrative report (2006-07)– Department of Urban Administration and Development (GoMP)