The PRI-CBO convergence project envisages a mutually beneficial relationship between the Panchayati Raj Institutions and the communities in the process of implementing poverty eradication programmes. Panchayati Raj institutions came to existence in 1993 through the 73rd constitutional amendment with a mandate of addressing rural poverty and ensuring social justice. The SHG network that has emerged alongside has been a huge social capital for the Gram Panchayat to work with for addressing poverty and ensuring social justice. Recognising the need for an effective functional relationship between PRIs, especially Gram Panchayats and the SHGs of women, in particular the Village Organisations (VO), the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) had amended the NRLM framework to incorporate provisions for bringing about a formal relationship between the institutions of local government and the organisations of the poor. Kudumbashree NRO with the experience of converging PanchayatiRaj Institutions with the SHG network has been mandated to support states interested inimplementing the model. The PRI-CBO Convergence project is based on this premise that a synergy between both these institutions can be mutually beneficial in addressing the issue of poverty for the larger goal of socio-economic development of the village. Developing an entitlements-based perspectives for women’s collectives is central to the strategy.
A comprehensive convergent action plan which is a mix of accessing entitlements and schemes in the domain of health, education, women and child development, agriculture, animal husbandry, creation of wage employment, creation of community assets, accessing credit for livelihoods and other needs, creation of water resources etc. are taken up. The implementation of these plans are often done in convergence with other CSS/SSS. Special efforts are also taken to include the action plans with the Gram Panchayat Development Plan.
Scope of the PRI-CBO convergence project includes the following
• Capacity building of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) and Community Based Organisations (CBO)
• Creation of a community cadre (Local Resource Group) in every Panchayat
• Strengthening CBOs to engage PRIs for addressing the special needs of the poor and the marginalised
• Converging the implementation of MGNREGS and other centrally/state supported schemes for strengthening the PRI-CBO interface
• Improvement in the governance process through effective participation in Gram Sabhas
• Participatory assessment of entitlement exercise by the SHGs
• Preparing poverty reduction action plan for the Panchayats
• Creation and institutionalisation of Convergence Committees at the CBO and with the panchayats