The state is reclaiming power over tribal communities

The implementation of PESA and FRA have been fraught with challenges--many of them genuine and yet many others a consequence of bureaucratic and political inertia, incompetence and malice

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One year of decentralisation and turf wars in Kenya

Ken Opalo has a great post on decentralisation in Kenya. He writes:Kenya’s new government structure has 47 capitals handling billions of shillings each year. If all else fails, the system will at least create strong politically autonomous regional elites with sufficient power to check Nairobi. And that is a fantastic thing. Already a few governors (including …

Panchayati raj institutions and the burden of expectations

My latest livemint column is upIn my last column (Why the traditional model of NGO-led development must end), I argued that NGOs must cede the space for providing services to panchayati raj institutions (PRIs). Already, most of the government’s flagship schemes have roles for gram panchayats—to either manage funds or manage the implementation processes determining the …

Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan: beyond the hype

In my latest livemint article, I write about Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) which is the new avataar of the Total Sanitation Campaign...those who expected a clear expression of policy-intent and innovative implementation strategies are probably disappointed with the end-product. The new scheme does little by way of increasing the government’s financial commitment on the ground; …