Ideas & Insights Scaling Convergence for Social and Economic Services ...

Scaling Convergence for Social and Economic Services & Programmes in Rural India: Conceptual Framework & Evidence Review

Working Paper

A link to the full paper is here

January 31, 2021

Abstract: Over the past two decades, two of the Government of India’s flagship programmes to enable rural development have been the National Rural Livelihoods Mission and Project (NRLM/NRLP) and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and Scheme (NREGA/NREGS), both of which enable rural income generation through local institutional structures and interactions, and both of which have an emphasis on women’s participation and outcomes. At their most basic level, NRLM enhances women’s financial access through federated structures of Self-Help Groups (SHGs), and NREGS is the world’s largest workfare programme that provides each rural household with a guarantee of one hundred days of employment per year at a pre-specified wage. This paper provides a critical review of the evidence to date on both programmes and a conceptual framework that can inform government efforts to better link the two programmes in different ways (a process referred to as “convergence”), specifically in the states of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, in an attempt to enhance their combined value and their overall impact on rural households.