Institutional Strengthening of Gram Panchayat Project is a USD 300 Million programme of the World Bank aiming at increasing the capacity building support system and performance based grants allocation system for all the Gram Panchayats under the West Bengal state's jurisdiction. The performance grants are to encourage the Gram Panchayats as decentralised bodies, acting more efficiently and effectively as local service delivery systems in rural areas. The programme provides assistance for the state wide implementation of the performance based grants system by strengthening the Gram Panchayats. This assistance is through developing Gram Panchayats Management System, Web Based Monitoring System, Geographic Information System, expansion of video conferencing facilities, and Grievance Redressal Management System.
Sutra Consulting provided comprehensive support in designing and implementing the Annual Performance Assessment in selected 1000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) of the 9 districts in West Bengal. Our team was responsible for developing and testing of the assessment instruments, engagement and training of data collection and data entry staff, development and testing of the data entry system, implementation of the assessment exercise and documentation. Our assessment was used to identify GPs eligible to receive Block Grants in 2013-14, identify strengths and weaknesses of GPs and form the groundwork for the Mid-Term Appraisal and Impact Evaluation of the project. Our team submitted the final list of GPs who had qualified under the APA along with List of GPs which has not qualified with reasons to the project authorities. Our work helped the Project establish a robust system of conducting APA and disburse performance grants on time. Our team of experts have successfully completed the APA work in 2012 and subsequently for 2 more years.
Bihar Panchayat Strengthening Project is a USD 120 Million programme of the World Bank which aims to support the state's capacity to promote and strengthen inclusive, responsive and accountable Panchayat Raj Institutions in 12 districts of Bihar. The programme focuses on four thematic areas viz. setting up of 330 Panchayat Sarkar Bhawans (PSBs) and 330 functional Gram Panchayats (GPs); capacity building of elected representatives to enable them to perform roles envisaged under Bihar Panchayati Raj Act, 2006; provision of infrastructural systems for recording transactions of businesses of GPs in electronic and manual formats and supporting the project through human resource management and monitoring and evaluation using IT tools.
Sutra Consulting was engaged to conduct the baseline survey in 12 selected districts of Bihar. Our team of experts was entrusted with the task to develop a frame work of baseline survey which included identification of key thematic areas and indicators, preparation of sampling plan and survey tools, identification and training of surveyors, data collection, analysis of data and final report submission. Besides structured interview with the elected representative of PRI and staff, Focused Group Discussion were also undertaken in sample Panchayats with community members. The baseline assessment was successfully completed in time and improved project's understanding of current status of GPs with respect to infrastructure, governance, staffing and funds.
Kerala Local Self Governance Service Delivery Project (KLGSDP) by World Bank aimed to enhance and strengthen the institutional capacity of the local government system in Kerala to deliver services and undertake basic administrative and governance functions more effectively and in a sustainable manner. The programme achievement was designed to be measured through 70 percent Gram Panchayats and Municipalities passing the performance assessments for well-functioning fiduciary, planning and service delivery systems, a well-established performance-based grant system increasingly financed by Government of Kerala; and increased number of female direct project beneficiaries.
Sutra consulting was engaged as the lead consultant for establishing a Performance Assessment System for Local Self-Governments in Kerala under Kerala Local Government Service Delivery Project supported by the World Bank during 2014-15. The team reviewed and contributed in finalising the Annual Performance Assessment (APA) Framework for 2014-15; developed performance assessment tool and means of verification; developed and installed performance assessment software for online assessment; conducted training of state performance audit office staff, LSG data entry operator and project staff; Audited and Monitored Performance Assessment survey agencie's activities; and provided overall technical support for conducting Annual Performance Assessment. Our team successfully completed the APA design and APA manual which was followed by the field agencies who actually did the survey.
District Planning is the process of preparing an integrated plan for the local government sector in a district taking into account the resources (natural, human and financial) available and covering the sectoral activities and schemes assigned to the district level and below and those implemented through local governments in a state. With the 73rd and 74th amendments of the Constitution of India, decentralization of planning is emphasized and the methodology of district plan was changed. The District Planning Process is conducted in a participatory manner as per planning commission's guidelines. The planning department has engaged Technical Support Institutions to facilitate participatory planning process undertaken by the district administration. The District Plan also includes preparation of vision document, Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) plan and Comprehensive District Agricultural Plan (CDAP) documents as per the guideline of government of India.
Sutra Consulting supported Kandhamal district in Orissa for their District Plan preparation for a period two years. The district plan preparation involved consultation with all government departments, civil societies, elected representatives and the PRI members. Appropriate data collection was carried at the Gram Panchayat level and aggregated at the district level in a participatory manner. The planning document included a perspective plan for five years and an annual plan for the current year based on the vision document developed for the district. Our experts helped the district administration prepare the District Plan on time and oriented the stakeholders in multiple workshops which helped addition of new areas such as training and skill development into the planning document and drove the administration to allocate additional funds to district specific priorities such as tourism and food.