PRI-CBO CONVERGENCE PILOT PROJECT
Village Panchayat have a long standing history in India. They represent a system of governance prevalent in ancient India. The Government of India has various strategies, policies and programs/schemes for rural poor in Education, health and economic development activities. The channelization and utilization of these services requires adequate funds, appropriate policies, and appropriate approach and effective delivery mechanism. Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) are locus and fundamental structure in the rural India which has a crucial task of implementing the schemes, policies and availing government services. Hence it is critical to have stronger interface between community based organizations of poor with PRIs.Odisha Livelihoods mission having strength in promoting Women Self Help Groups and their federations is strongly poised to institutionalize such interface. The convergence of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) looks at creating an institutional mechanism wherein the Panchayats can collaborate with CBO effectively in implementation of schemes.
The Panchayats being democratically elected Government, to whom the people have direct access can play a major role in making the people aware about their entitlements and in enhancing the capabilities of the disadvantaged. With the 73rd amendment more power and responsibilities is disseminated to PRI, democratization and participation of the poor are essential conditions for the effective functioning of PRI. The opportunities for convergence are also opportunities for local economic development, and social justice. This comes about through demand generation for locally relevant development works that produce assets that can then be meaningfully used by the communities of the poor, and through integrating with productive sector livelihoods.
Odisha as a State has a diverse experience of PRI and CBO. Strength of PRI and CBO varies from one place to another and hardly any convergence exists between the both.
The basic objective of convergence is to establish synergy among different programs in planning and implementation to optimize the benefits. Odisha Livelihoods Mission in collaboration with Kudumbashree National resource organization (NRO) is implementing this pilot project in 12 Panchayats of four districts in Odisha.