The Statesman, Kolkata, August 26, 2008
The study which was conducted among 412 families in districts like Hooghly, Jalpaiguri, Malda and Purulia revealed that most of the government policies fail to achieve the target because the policymakers ~ both in the state and at the Centre ~ were unaware of the requirements of the beneficiaries at the rural level.
The director of CUTS, Mr George Cheriyan, said: “Most of the policies failed due to lack of communication between the policymakers and villagers. The policies, which were framed to undertake development works in rural areas, do not include the actual requirements of the villagers. Thus various policies that had been undertaken to develop a certain area or community remain ineffective.”
He further added that both the state and the Centre should conduct surveys among the beneficiaries or the target groups to assess their needs before framing a policy. Surveys can also help the policymakers to understand loopholes in any ongoing policy and that could be revised in future.
A senior official of the Consumer Unity and Trust Society said at the end of every fiscal both the state and Union government reveal that a huge amount of money has been spent to undertake various projects and policies but the beneficiaries hardly get anything out of those projects.
“Henceforth, the government should conduct both pre and post implementation surveys to assess the need of the beneficiaries and effects of any policies on the beneficiaries,” he added.
Moreover, CUTS also introduced Community Score Card (CSC), which is a social accountability tool, implemented to assess the effect and benefit of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). Mr Cheriyan said: “CSC is a community-based monitoring tool, to extract social and public accountability and responsiveness from service providers. CSC solicits user perceptions on quality, efficiency and transparency of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act .”