Capacity development on the issues of governance and contemporary development is one of the key strengths of Samarthan. Over the years, Samarthan has developed an expertise in building capacities of various stakeholders like Community members, Civil Society Organisations, Government Functionaries and Donor organisations on various development sector issues. Some of the key training programs are
- Preparing perspective district plans under BRGF scheme- Samarthan facilitated formation of the district plans under BRGF scheme in Madhya Pradesh (Panna, Alirajpur, Dhar, Jhabua) and Chhattisgarh (Bastar, Dantewara and Koriya). The assignment involved capacity building of the government functionaries like village secretaries and municipal workers on decentralised planning and facilitating them in preparing village and municipal plans. Samarthan also helped in feeding the data in plan plus software for compiling the plans and integrating them at the district level.
- Integrated decentralized Planning in Madhya Pradesh – Samarthan supported the State Planning Commission in developing Integrated District plans in 5 districts of the state. These plans were prepared in line with the guidelines of the Planning Commission of India. Samarthan conducted the trainings of the Master Trainers and the district level trainers on decentralized planning. These trainers further trained the district and block level officials on the process of decentralized planning. A manual on decentralized planning was also prepared during the year.
- Capacity Building of Health Service Providers-Samarthan organised training of the ANMs, MPWs and ASHA workers from three blocks of Sehore district on Reproductive Health, Adolescent health and their role as health service provider for addressing reproductive health issues among the adolescent and newly married couple.
- Support to GoMP on capacity building of PRIs- Samarthan constantly engaged with the state government for effective delivery of capacity building inputs for the elected representatives. Samarthan was one of the Core Committee members for training the newly elected Panchayat representatives constituted after the Panchayat Elections in January 2005. The committee advised the state government and the Academy of Administration on the various aspects of capacity building for PRI members. Samarthan also played the role of a facilitator for the training of Master Trainers for Panchayat training. The master trainers trained were the members of the network of Civil Society Organizations that Samarthan had promoted during the awareness campaign during Panchayat election.
- Support to MPRLP staff for micro planning and gram sabha strengthening- Samarthan organized training sessions for capacity building of the MPRLP project staff on strengthening Gram Sabhas for improving livelihood situation in the MPRLP intervened villages. Samarthan conducted several rounds of trainings for developing Master Trainers from the MPRLP districts on Participatory Training Techniques and Governance, Right to Information, Social Audit, and Strengthening of Community Organisations etc. Samarthan also supported the Master Trainers in developing the capacities of more than 1000 PFT members.
- Support to DPIP staff on Participatory Training Methodologies- Samarthan organised Training of Trainers for the District Poverty Initiative Programme (DPIP) on Participatory Training methodologies for better implementation of livelihood programs. The 14 days training focused on using participatory methodologies in strengthening the capacities of the Village Development Committees developed under the DPIP program. The programme was a blend of classroom trainings as well as field exposure.
Local Self Governance Institutions and their committees
- Capacity Building of community institutions and PRI members on Health issues- Samarthan in collaboration with the Health Department (GoMP) implemented an extensive training programme on health issues in Sehore District in the year 2008. Forty four Master Trainers were identified and trained for carrying out training programmes for the Panchayat representatives and Village Health and Sanitation Committees under NRHM in all the 499 Panchayats of the district. The training trained more than 8200 participants from the community based institutions like the Health Committees, Water and Sanitation Committees, Youth groups, and PRI representatives. Samarthan also conducted training of Panchayat representatives on issues related to reproductive health and the role of Panchayats in ensuring better health service delivery for youth and adolescents. Samarthan also facilitated development of village health plans in 450 Panchayats in Sehore. These plans were prepared by the village health and sanitation committee, the youth volunteers and other members of the gram Sabha in a participatory manner.
- Strengthening Panchayati Raj Institution- Samarthan took an initiative in Madhya Pradesh from the year 2007 to develop a network of Panchayat representatives – Panchayat Mahasangh – which can demand more autonomy for the Panchayats and also in due course demonstrate accountability and transparency in the functioning of the PRI system. This network was established at the state level in a democratic manner with strong organization of district level units of the network. The network has over 2000 members from 33 districts of the state.
- Five Year Perspective Micro Planning in Bastar and Churia blocks- Samarthan carried out the intensive micro planning exercises in 53 Panchayats in Churia block of Rajnandgaon district and 55 Panchayats of Bastar Block of Bastar district. Gram Panchayats wise micro plan were prepared using various tools of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) with active participation of villagers and Panchayati Raj representatives. The micro plans were presented and approved in a special meeting of the Gram Sabha.
- Participatory planning and Community Monitoring in urban areas- With the support from Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT, Mumbai), Samarthan has been implementing a project on Urban Governance in Bhopal and Sehore Municipalities of Madhya Pradesh. The project is being implemented since April 2008 and involves developing participatory planning at the ward level and developing Community Monitoring systems in the slum wards for monitoring municipal services. It also involves capacity building for facilitating entitlement realisation of the migrant workers working in the urban locations. Samarthan also implemented a project for strengthening urban local governance in India by empowering youth to attain MDGs for the urban poor with the support from CORDAID, Netherlands. The project focuses on building capacities of the CBOs, NGOs for promoting Participatory Planning in small and medium towns of Madhya Pradesh.
- Training of vigilance and monitoring committees (VMC) on social audit- Samarthan undertook initiatives to conduct social audits under NREGS in Sehore and Panna districts as a part of an assignment given by the Zila Panchayats in these districts. Vigilance and Monitoring committees were trained to conduct social audit in 69 Panchayats in Sehore and 147 Panchayats in Panna. Samarthan also produced simplified learning material for conducting social audits on MNREGS. Samarthan also organised a training campaign to orient the members of Nighrani Samiti of all the Panchayats in Sarguja District of Chhattisgarh in collaboration with the District Administration. More than 9180 Nighrani Samiti members were trained on the concept of social audit and vigilance at the village level.
- Orientations on the provisions of Right To Information Act – State level campaigns on Right to Information Act were organized in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in which more than 3000 elected representatives and over 7000 government functionaries were oriented on the provisions of the RTI Act 2005. A booklet was also prepared on the provisions of the Act in simple language which can be used by Panchayat representatives and the citizens for using RTI. Samarthan also helped prepare Self Disclosure documents for 268 Panchayats.
- Capacity buildings of ward councilors and municipal functionaries- Samarthan conducted an orientation program with the municipal heads, ward councilors and municipal functionaries in twelve municipalities of Madhya Pradesh on the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT). This training program helped these municipalities to plan and access large development grants available for urban infrastructure development. At the same time it also helped in bringing the reforms agenda in the municipalities. Follow up support is also being provided to each of the municipality to help prepare the District Progress Reports.
Civil Society Organizations
- Strengthening grassroots voluntary organizations- Since its inception, Samarthan has been working as a support organization to build a strong base of the value based voluntary sector in Madhya Pradesh. Samarthan identified small and medium size voluntary organizations and built their capacities in programme and organizational management issues. Several trainings were organized on organizational development, process documentation, participatory planning, participatory training and participatory monitoring. This was also an effort to build a network of grassroots voluntary groups to dialogue with the Government on development challenges and possible solutions based on grassroots reality.
- Result based Management Training- Samarthan organized a four day training programme on Result Based Management (RBM) for partner organisations of NEG Fire from four states – Rajasthan, Gujrat, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. The four day training session was attended by 40 participants and focused on various tools to achieve the desired results in an organization.
- State Training Resource Center for NACO in Chhattisgarh- Samarthan has been working since November 2008 as the State Training Resource Centre (STRC) for NACO in Chhattisgarh. As the STRC to NACO, Samarthan works in close coordination with the Chhattisgarh State AIDS Control Society for providing training to the Targeted Intervention (TI) Partners across the state (as per NACP III technical and operational guidelines). Samarthan trained 828 personnel on sexually transmitted infections, documentation, MIS, public private partnership, accounts management and outreach planning.
- Training of trainers on MGNREGA- With the enactment of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Samarthan initiated interventions on strengthening the capacities of the Panchayats and Gram Sabha for effective realisation of the programme. Samarthan organised a Training of Trainers for NGOs for developing model Panchayats under NREGA. 50 participants from Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh participated in the training. These trainers then built the capacities of Panchayat representatives, village mates, secretaries and Gram Sabha members on the various aspects of NREGA in 55 Panchayats in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
- Capacity building of Youth and adolescents (UNFPA and MDGs)- In collaboration with the UNFPA, Samarthan developed a cadre of 400 youth facilitators to work with adolescent and youth groups (both boys and girls) on the issue of reproductive health in the villages. Adolescents and Youth were empowered with knowledge and life skills for improving reproductive and sexual health in 205 villages of Sehore district of Madhya Pradesh. Around 360 youth groups were formed to monitor the health services in the village particularly from the point of view of adolescent and youth.
- Rights and entitlements of urban migrants- Samarthan identified unorganized labourers in Bhopal and Sehore and enabled them to access the schemes on accidental and health insurance and other schemes being implemented by the government of Madhya Pradesh.
- Handholding support in filing RTI applications- Samarthan intensively intervened in the States of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh on successful implementation of the Right to Information Act from the year 2005. We worked in 17 districts of the two states with the network of partner organizations to spread awareness about the provisions of the Act and help citizens file RTI applications. A booklet and an audio CD were prepared on the provisions of the Act in simple language for elected representatives and citizens. Samarthan provided hand holding support in filing 1581 RTI applications.