Panchayati Raj Institutions, as the key unit of decentralized and participatory rural local self- government, have a central role in identifying local issues, planning, and implementing programs to achieve developmental outcomes. In this context, the role of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj in equipping all PRIs, to become effective vehicles of social change and rural development and support efficient and inclusive delivery of public services to the population, is critical, particularly as the country grapples with the public-health and socio-economic crisis exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic. VKPL is collaborating with UNICEF to promote the participation of women in the design of Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP). The collaboration entails implementation, process monitoring, and generating quasi-experimental evidence on the effectiveness of organizing Mahila Sabhas (women assemblies). Further, the work entails documentation and introduction of effective methods which can be used to scale up the programme to more states in a sustainable manner. VKPL will work with the following objectives:
(i) Assessing the efficacy of the model in developing shock responsive, child sensitive and gender centric GPDPs;
(ii) VKPL will support UNICEF in the development of a Theory of Change for this model, and mapping progress made,
(iii) Conducting mixed methods research to establish the contribution and attribution of the programmatic intervention in achieving the various intended outcomes.