Battling Corruption: Has NREGA Reached India's Rural Poor?

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9780198085003: Battling Corruption: Has NREGA Reached India's Rural Poor?

In an attempt to respond to the needs of the country's poor, the Indian government launched an ambitious workfare scheme, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in 2005, which guaranteed hundred days of employment in unskilled manual labour at a minimum wage to every rural household each year.

The book assesses the effectiveness of formal and informal mechanisms-political representation, community social audits, access to information, membership in networks, political competition-in reducing corrupt practices and enabling NREGA to reach its intended beneficiaries in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. The book tests several intuitions and finds that, among other things, political representation for scheduled castes and tribes, and women has produced dividends in the form of higher participation and higher earnings in the scheme by these groups. Low access to information, on the other hand, has hindered the effective functioning of these mechanisms. Written in non-technical language, it is one of the few studies of its kind that blends econometric and ethnographic analyses towards a better understanding of the effective implementation of the scheme.

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About the Author:



Shylashri Shankar is Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.

Raghav Gaiha is Retired Professor of Public Policy, Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi.

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Book Description Oxford University Press, New Delhi, India. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. An ambitious workfare scheme, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), was launched by the Indian government in 2005 to respond to the needs of the country`s poor. The scheme guarantees hundred days of employment in unskilled manual labour at a minimum wage to any rural household in a year.The statistics, however, reveal a bleak picture, and it has been observed that money has continually been siphoned off from the scheme. How can the state become more responsive to its citizens? How can citizens, especially the poor and less privileged, in turn ensure such responsiveness on the part of the state so as to reduce poverty and corruption? In Battling Corruption, the authors, using qualitative and quantitative analysis, measure the effectiveness of formal and informal mechanisms?political decentralization, community social audits, access to information, membership in networks, political competition?in reducing corrupt practices and enhancing poor people`s welfare,thereby enabling NREGA to reach its intended beneficiaries in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. The book also tries to understand the reasons why these mechanisms worked or failed in changing the dominant structure of institutional and social interactions, and transforming the ability of the poor to take advantage of these changes. The book will be invaluable to those studying economics, public administration, political science, and development studies. Policymakers, NGOs, and various bilateral and multilateral donor agencies will also find it resourceful. Printed Pages: 288. Bookseller Inventory # 108820

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