Article 243G of the Constitution of India mandates the Gram Panchayats(GPs) to prepare and implement Gram Panchayat Development Plan(GPDP) for economic development and social justice by converging/ integrating all such programmes of the Panchayat, State and Centre within their geographical area. Further, as local governments, GPs are responsible for the delivery of basic services to local citizens and address vulnerabilities of poor and marginalized sections of the population. This can only be achieved through implementation of well thought out plans through efficient and responsible utilization of resources available at the disposal of the GPs and by expanding the resources to meet their priorities.
Over the last two and half decades, several initiatives have been taken by the State and the Central Government to encourage participatory planning process at the grassroots level. However, various challenges such as inadequate resources, people’s participation, facilitation and capacity have hindered or slowed down the pace of formulation of holistic, comprehensive and visionary plans and their strategic execution by States.
GPDP should ideally match people’s needs, basic services and their aspirations, prioritized in accordance with the available resources. It should be prepared through a participatory, inclusive and transparent process. The plan should be long-term (perspective plan) in nature (ideally five years plan), which is implementable on annual basis, based on priorities arrived at Gram Sabha. After implementation of annual plan, the perspective plan will be reviewed taking the performance/ feedback/impact of the annual plan implementation into account and making changes and reprioritizing the activities/projects for the coming financial year.*
Research and Action Centre for Local Democracy (RACLD) strongly believes in the fact that Local governments are at the core of democratic development around the world and it is the everyday work carried out by villages, towns, cities, municipalities and regions that create the change that is fundamental for equitable, inclusive and sustainable global development. We live in a time when global phenomena such as climate change, urbanization, migration and unemployment have repercussions in people's everyday lives, which is why functional local, democratic institutions are more important than ever before.
In a Democracy decision-making processes need to be efficient, transparent and inclusive for the system to achieve its goals and every citizen should have the same opportunity to exert influence. The four core areas - equality, participation, transparency and accountability are cornerstones of positive democratic development. RACLD aims at strengthening the decentralization processes, preparation and execution of Gram Panchayat Development Plans (GPDP), strengthening the local self-Governments (Panchayat Raj), civil societies and citizenship narratives to achieve excellence at grass root level governance.
RACLD proposes to facilitate the preparation of Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) through participation of community, civil society organizations, education Institutions and the community in select Panchayats in the state of Tamil Nadu to begin with. We intend to work in similar lines adopted by People’s Plan Campaign and the Guidelines for Preparation of GPDP, published by Ministry of Panchayati Raj in 2018. As per the guidelines, the perspective plan is to be prepared for 5 years. RACLD will work with all these Panchayats by handholding them and with the district administration to carry out the prepared plans as per the GPDP for the next five years.
RACLD envisions translating self-sufficient village economies into a reality through this project. By strategically linking the State and the Market via unique interventions, RACLD will handhold the Panchayats to become self-sustainable rural economies with a proper plan of action within a period of 5 years.
Government of India's Guidelines for Preparation of Gram Panchayat
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