Panchayat Raj Initiatives
The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 that envisaged democratic decentralization through devolution of functions, powers and finances, and particularly ensuring participation of the marginalized sections, especially women, dalits, tribals and minorities is paramount to CWS in the context of its broad vision of creating vibrant self-reliant rural communities. Thus, CWS initiated its Panchayati Raj Initiatives programme in 2000 in Telangana through 15 NGOs. The programme focused on Pre-election Voter Awareness Campaign (PEVAC), capacity building to elected representatives, preparation and dissemination of IEC materials, initiating networks of representatives and establishing linkages with organizations/institutions involved in empowering PRIs. The programme is active currently in AP, Orissa, Jharkhand, and Pondicherry. The ongoing Phase III Programme “Promoting and Strengthening Good Governance at Grassroots” was envisaged for the period August 2005 to March 2009.
- Empower and strengthen the capacities of the PRIs to address development issues of the communities to achieve sustainable development and social justice
- Strengthen the planning process through GP level capacity building and interventions for integration at Mandal and District levels
- Track the process of devolution of powers, funds and functionaries at District, Mandal and GP levels in selected districts, identify issues and lobby with Government.
- Promote, strengthen and facilitate forum of elected leaders of PRIs for advocacy and lobbying at all levels, including networking/collaborations with larger civil society and State authorities.
- Research and development of resource materials on topical themes and dissemination.
- Empowering PRIs and strengthening PESA for good governance
- Promoting effective linkages and coordination between three tiered Panchayat institutions
- Enabling Grassroots PRIs to act as change agents, role models for transparency and accountability
- Facilitating the process of convergence between various stakeholders, including ER networks for effective policy dialogue at Local, Regional and State level for devolution of powers to Panchayats and PESA
- Provide solidarity support to Elected Representatives to get their due rights, powers and responsibilities
- Create linkages for the Elected Representatives with Panchayat Raj Resource Institutions in neighbouring States and at National level to enrich their knowledge
- Establish a full-fledged resource centre for the Panchayats in Puducherry
- Initiate advocacy efforts towards actual decentralization of power in Puducherry.