- To comprehensively support the Gram Panchayats within the clusters, as the primary institution of self-governance
- Promote gram Sabhas and ward sabhas of citizens to prioritize, develop, plan, budget and implement their own developmental priorities and needs. In particular, strengthen the mandate, dialogic and negotiating abilities, and ownership of the Gram Sabha to the village through specific strategies.
- Similarly, under the 74th CAA, and as a pilot project strengthen as a ‘model’ one municipality namely, Bhuj, following the similar intervention and methodology adopted by the Setu approach in Gram Panchayats and village governance for urban governance
- To strengthen the clusters of Gram Panchayats and their representatives within the Setu Clusters of 15-20 villages, as the primary ‘parliament’ and unit of planning, which sets the development parameters, normative values, broad regulations and social legislations as per the Constitution and 73rd CAA. And to this end, develop knowledge and information as a critical service/medium through which the associations of Gram Panchayats and representatives can organize themselves over a shared identity, developmental issues, regional strengths, areas of concern and advocacy; translate information as a fundamental principle of good self-governance, and Right to Information as the basis for accountability and transparency between the Gram Sabha and the Gram Panchayat; the Gram Panchayat and the State; between the community and the markets and resource institutions.
- To initiate knowledge building around the praxis of local decentralized governance. Thus, to energize/empower representatives of civil society/Panchayat facilitators, and critical mass of Gram Panchayat leaders, with the abilities to document, research, and access structured studies of local governance and citizenship. The integration of grass-root practice and systemic knowledge building can alone generate a rigorous movement towards local self governance.
Translating objectives into Action we:
- Pilot key strategies which demonstrate the facilitation of improved Local Governance and Citizenship within the rural clusters of Kutch District
This strategy aims to enable the Gram Panchayats in a cluster to develop as decentralized planning and implementation units to formulate infrastructure plans, natural resource management plans, access to health plans, education resource plans and disaster mitigation plans. These critical areas will enable interdependency of villages, ensuring socio-economic sustenance of citizens in each village.
- Strengthen Associations of Gram Panchayats with in the District and enable them to form alliances and network with similar Associations in other States across the country
These networks act both as supportive mechanisms as well as collective advocacy platforms. The Gram Panchayat representatives gain strength from each other’s experiences and in order to advocate on issues of governance and devolution at both the local as well national level associations/networks have a greater chance of being heard by the government as well as in the local and national media.
- Establish a Leadership and Research Centre on Decentralised Governance:
To strengthen grassroots governance, citizenship and the political economy of rural Kutch, it is of utmost importance to engage the change makers within civil society, key Local Government (Panchayat) leaders and grassroots administrators and design a structured knowledge building on good decentralised local governance.