The Gaon Panchayat planning campaign in Assam has been named as ‘Amar Gaon Aamar Achoni’ (My village my Plan).
Objective of the planning campaign is to institutionalise a participatory planning process at the grass root level by involving different stakeholders through different Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) exercises to capture the felt needs and requirements of the rural masses before presenting them in the Ward Sabhas and Gram Sabhas. Assam is one of the states in the country that came up first with the state specific guidelines for preparing the Gaon Panchayat development Plan. The process and steps proposed in the guidelines were tested and validated at the field level with Gram Panchayat members, frontline workers, SHGs and villagers. Every step included in the guidelines were finalised after discussing with the different stakeholders in the field. These workshops and joint field exercises helped the Faculty Members and other trainers to know the entire framework of the guidelines and subsequently the sequence of events and process to be adopted in preparation of Gram Panchayat Development Plan.
To roll out the process in the field about 100 trainers were developed including SIRD & ETCs Faculties, Academicians, NGOs, DPMUs. The Assam GPDP guidelines consist of the chapterson Introduction of 14th FC; Resource envelope; Environment generation; Situational analysis participatory planning; Projectization, finalization of GP Development Plan; Technical and administrative approval of GPDP; Post plan arrangement and system support; Monitoring, evaluation, learning and documentation and Capacity building. Draft guidelines were also discussed with the Consultants of MoPR and other National Level Resource Persons before giving the final shape.UNICEF’s involvement and support from the beginning in this process gave an extra impetus. At the same time initiation of State Resource Centre on Women Children and Panchayats at SIRD with the support of UNICEF bestowed an additional momentum in the process. All about Gaon Panchayat Development Plan in Assam started with the KILA workshop held in July 2015. Followed by that series of meetings and consultative workshops were conducted by SIRD with the support of UNICEF and National Resource Persons. Wide range of participants from SIRD & ETCs faculties, NRLM officials, Resource Persons, NGOs, Academicians, etc. participated in these workshops. In association of P&RDD and UNICEF; SIRD constituted a state cell for undertaking all the preparatory works required for rolling out the GPDP process and to ensure regular follow-up with different stakeholders. In accordance with the State Guidelines, Planning Manual on Gaon Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) was prepared both in English and Assamese languages. Every step in the preparation of the plan was tested in the field before incorporating in the manual. A series of field exercises were conducted before giving the final shape to the planning manual. Various steps included in the planning manual are: 1) Panchayat committee sitting to understand and initiate the GPDP process; 2) Initial Gaon Sabha and Ward Sabhas for environment and awareness generation; 3) Training & Capacity building of GP Resource Team & Working Groups; 4) Situation analysis and preparation of Draft Status Report (DSR); 5) Gaon Panchayat sitting with resource team and working groups to review the DSR; 6) Gaon Sabha for Visioning and prioritization and approval of DSR; 7) Draft plan preparation; Project preparation & Panchayat committee meeting; 8) Plan approval by Gram Sabha; 9) Final GP Development Plan document; 10) Implementation of project & GP Plan and 11) Project monitoring mechanism. The approval of GP Development Plan will be accorded in the Gaon Sabha and the block level technical team under the leadership of BDO along with technical persons from different line departments will provide support in preparation of Technical Proposal and give Sanction.
It has been decided by the State Government to undertake the preparation of Gaon Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) in mission mode from 12th May’ 2017 to 12th June’ 2017. Plan preparation process will also cover VCDCs and VDCs. GPDP process will be undertaken simultaneously by all the Gaon Panchayats, VCDCs and VDCs of the state during that period. All the 14 steps as mentioned herein below will have to be undertaken in a sequence. Field level exercises upto ward sabhas will be conducted in each of the 10 wards of each of the Gaon Panchayat. Draft Status Report of each ward will be consolidated into Gaon Panchayat level Status Report which will be converted into Gaon Panchayat Development Plan to be finally prioritized and approved by Gaon Panchayat level Gram Sabha. VCDCs and VDCs in Council areas will hold the participatory exercises and Gram Sabhas maintaining the same time period. Thrust of the plan will be to select sufficient house hold based and community based schemes to be taken up in MGNREGA. Gaon Panchayat will also select schemes in this participatory process for implementation under Finance Commission Grants.