People’s Expectation, Perception and Participation in Decentralized Governance through Panchayats: An Investigation
Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 25, No. 3, pp. 445-460, July-September 2006
17 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2010 Last revised: 15 Jan 2015
The purpose of the present study is to provide an analysis of people's expectations, perceptions and participation in decentralised governance through Panchayats. The study evaluates relative efficiency of Panchayats and its determinant from people’s development perspective and participation. The focus of the present paper is the area of Mewat in Haryana, an example of poverty in the ocean of affluence reflecting the failure of our development strategy. The people's expectations were high in view of the 73rd amendment in Indian Constitution that was introduced with a view to ensuring equal participation of privileged and underprivileged in the design and implementation of development projects that are vital to their livelihoods and better survival. However, by participant observation, the story of Panchayat in Mewat seems quite different. Inactivity of people's representatives, factionalism within the Panchayats and favouritism tend to exclude the real beneficiaries. The study reveals that in 8 out of 46 cases the activities of sarpanch and members are opposite to the people's expectation while in 23 Panchayats performance was below 25 per cent of the expected performance.
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