Capacity building endeavours in government functionaries and elected representatives are deemed necessary because of the importance of service delivery and service quality in recent times. In the case of functionaries in the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj departments, the focus has increased on ensuring access to government schemes with inclusivity. Several policies and programmes are in place for poverty alleviation, employment generation, and socio-economic empowerment. To achieve these goals, efficient human resource is a key. These human resources cannot be officials alone but also the elected representatives. Against this backdrop, recognizing the value of human resource capacity building, State Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (SIRD&PR), Tamil Nadu decided on a dedicated training programme for officials and elected representatives.
In order to address the capacity building needs of the trainee group consisting of officials and elected representatives, IRMA, with the help of SIRD&PR Tamil Nadu, identified key themes around technical, behavioural, and managerial capabilities. It was determined that understanding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how it feeds into development strategies is important for technical capabilities. Similarly, given the recent attention that collectives have received, it was deemed important to help participants understand co-operative and collective development. Other themes under technical capabilities were CBO and NGO management for village development, construction and material management, rural roads technology, rural technology, and Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP). Under managerial capabilities, programme design focused on personnel management, enterprise development, and financial management. Developing behavioural capabilities emphasized leadership and motivation, and conflict management.
The sessions focused on participatory adult learning principles and used pedagogical tools such as role-plays, exercises, management games, and case studies. This programme design also ensures complete conceptual, programmatic, and practical issues-based learning for the participants.
Field visits were organized to understand the co-operatives and their principles in action. A large and
modernized Gram Panchayat was included in the visit to help develop an understanding of resource mobilization and usage of resource endowments with the panchayat.