The Jharkhand government’s Panchayati Raj Department has initiated a pilot project in 28 panchayats to improve their overall health and convert them into model panchayats.
The department has tied up with Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) — an autonomous body functioning in Kerala for local governance capacity building — to identify gaps and improve service deliveries across the 28 panchayats.
Officials said the capacity building exercise is being done with an aim to get an ISO certification — the standards certificate for panchayats — from KILA. The certification would mean that the panchayat system is keeping the residents satisfied with its service delivery and is achieving continual improvement through engagement and evidence-based decision making, among others.
Officials of KILA undertook several visits in the first week of August and conducted a preliminary survey. They will submit a report by the end of this month after the next stage of work begins.
Explaining the process, Panchayati Raj Department director Nisha Oraon said the development of panchayats is envisaged in three stages. “The first stage is a gap analysis across health, water accessibility, anganwadi centres, education and basic services in the panchayats. Since KILA has been helping the capacity building in Kerala, we wanted to involve them to look into it. Once they submit the report, we will seek views from individual districts, local MLAs, mukhiyas on how to fill those gaps.”
Underlining the need for panchayats to be made self-sufficient, Oraon said the third stage is where KILA’s service will be taken.
Sources said KILA will do capacity building of elected representatives and government officials of PRIs through workshops, train the master trainers in the state, organise exposure visits to Kerala to show local governance, develop training modules on issues related to the decentralisation and development and generate sources of revenue for the panchayats. Once done, there will be an ISO certification of the services in these panchayats.