Social Inclusion and Universal Social Mobilisation
In order to ensure that no poor family is left out, a bundle of strategies for social inclusion/mobilization of all identified PoP and poor households into functionally effective and self-managed institutions will be used. The focus would be particularly on most vulnerable sections like scheduled castes, scheduled tribes (particularly vulnerable tribal groups), single women and women headed households, persons with disabilities, landless, migrant labourers, isolated communities, minority communities and communities living in difficult areas (especially flood prone, drought prone and naxalite affected). A detailed operational guideline would be developed for area specific vulnerability.
Promoting Self Help Groups
Using the concepts of ‘affinity' and ‘neighborhood', and making use of culturally sensitive IEC materials and taking help of community resource person, SHGs of the poor would be promoted by the frontline staff. As the task of mobilizing the poor into SHGs is a massive one, the services of multiple stakeholders including CSOs would be used for this purpose. While mobilizing the identified poor into the SHGs, priority would be given to the vulnerable sections like the SCs, the STs, the landless, migrant labour, isolated communities and households led by single women and people with disabilities.
Inclusion of Pre-Existing SHSs
As part of social mobilization, a comprehensive scanning of the pre-existing SHGs promoted by line departments and NGOs would be carried out. On the basis of the Community Operation Manual, eligible SHGs would be identified for inclusion into the project. If necessary, MoUs would be entered into with the NGOs/CSOs for this purpose. However, a fundamental principle to be followed in this regard would be to include only SHGs dominated by (at least 80% of members from poor HHs) the poor into the project fold.
Building Federations at different levels for sustaining Collective Action
The upper level federations will involve itself in nurturing and sustaining primary groups through ensuring the quality, facilitate learning, manage revolving funds of different genres, and mobilize access to public services and entitlements. Among other things, federations seek economies of scale, larger aggregation, linkages and convergence.
Formation of Village Organization (VO)
Once a minimum number of functional SHGs are established in the village and micro plans prepared, the facilitation team will undertake promotion of primary federation of SHGs. The triggers for initiation of VO will be at least 8 SHG are functional with membership of 12 members, member of SHGs are doing regular weekly savings from last 3 month and SHGs are given training on VO concepts and they are ready to federate themselves.
The role of VO will as follows-
- Providing technical assistance to SHG members.
- Problem solving and conflict resolution in SHGs.
- Review SHG performance.
- Facilitate formation of SHGs of the remaining poor in the village.
- Compile micro plans for the socio-economic development of its members.
- Review micro plans for the social and economic development of SHGs.
- Prepare Action Plan for the socio-economic development of its constituent area.
- Network and establish linkages with resource agencies for implementing the micro plans/investment plans and thus ensure the economic and social empowerment of the poor households.
- Act as a platform for sharing experiences and concerns of SHG members
Inclusion of Pre-Existing Federations
Integration of existing federations does not strictly mean disintegration, reorganization or revamp, it means allowing each federation to function independently according to its pre-set mandate, however not undermining the issues such as governance, clarity about vision, proper sense of ownership and frame work of self-regulation.
Cluster Level Federation (CLF)
Once a minimum number of functional VOs are established in the village, the facilitation team will undertake promotion of Cluster level federation of VOs. The triggers for initiation of VO will be at least 15- 20 VOs are functional with membership of 12-15 SHGs, EC of VO are doing regular monthly meeting from last 2 years and VOs are given training on CLF concepts and they are ready to become part of cluster level federation.
The role of the cluster level federation will be as-
- Giving priority to the demands of SHGs and their Federations in the annual plans of PRI by making suitable financial allocation.
- Leasing out natural resources such as ponds/tanks, market yards and also involving these institutions for proper management and maintenance.
- Focussing on gender & legal issues such as managing counselling centres, help lines.
- Dissemination of information & awareness generation on issues as Gram Shaba, health, nitration sanitation, education.
- Taking up matter of tribal, social evil and labour related issues.
- Providing immediate support to the vulnerable and the destitute.
Block Level Federation
The apex institution is the Block Level Federation. The Block Level Federation will emerge when the SHGs/ VOs/ CLFs have attained a critical strength both in terms of numbers and capacities. This is when the need for converging/ aggregating at a higher level will be required. The requirement will in terms of dialoguing with Government, Private Entrepreneurs, Banks, and MFIs etc. for supporting development both economic and social in their respective geographical area.
The role of BLF will be as-
- Facilitate provision of technical assistance to the CLF, VO and SHG members
- Problem solving and conflict resolution
- Undertaking social audit.
- Promoting & facilitating all support to producer groups/ livelihood groups through livelihood resource pool & partnership with technical partners i.e. Business Development services.
- Quality management of SHGs.
- Maintaining MIS.
- Undertaking micro finance activities, micro credit, insurance etc.
- Resource generation through partnerships with govt. & non govt. agencies.
- Mobilisation of community professionals.
Livelihood Based Producer Groups
Development of livelihood groups (Producer Groups) and their federations (Producer Cooperatives/Companies) will also be facilitated. The producer groups and their federations would derive membership from the base CBO unit viz., SHG. The livelihood groups would be provided support through customized training for village and block level management of enterprises, productivity enhancement, franchise management, quality enhancement and value addition skills. Linkage of these groups to the commercial sector would also be facilitated. Important commodities and livelihood interventions identified within the project in specific districts are Dairy, Agriculture, Incense Sticks, Jute, Makhana, Fisheries, Banana, Honey, etc.
The main functions of the producers' group at the collective level will be:
- Purchase or procurement of inputs for production
- Local processing and storing of inputs and outputs
- Marketing and selling of the produce
Role of Community Professional and Community Resource Person
In order to manage the CBO activities, a cadre of community professionals accountable entirely to the institutions would be required. The services of the professionals would be hired and paid for by the institutions. However, the professionals would be trained and groomed by the facilitation team initially before they take over the responsibilities assigned by the institutions. The CBOs would also be trained to review the performance of the professionals.
Community Professionals in JEEViKA
The programme intends to follow a very intensive community oriented, organic development process to build more than 10 lakh community institutions and their federations. Nonetheless, this requires building a cadre of community professionals at an enormous scale who will not only provide a supporting hand in formation and nurturing of these community institutions but managing and leading these institutions to a meaningful cause by imbibing the values of equity, transparency and accountability.
There is a cadre of community members such as Community Mobilisers, Bookkeepers, Bank Mitra, and Village Resource Person who have gained through their experience of working with the community, will become Community Professionals. The home grown "Community Professionals", who themselves are community members provide a unique and sustainable resource—they have local knowledge, are able to communicate effectively with their peers, are trusted by the communities, and are motivated to find local solutions to their communities' problems.
Unlike outside facilitators, Community Professionals have a stake in their community's development, are better suited to identifying the constraints and opportunities in their villages, and are much more effective in instilling confidence and mobilizing their communities. They also tend to be more accountable to their communities as they live there and enjoy local legitimacy and trust.