Who Should Be at the Top of Bottom-Up Development? A Case Study of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission in Rajasthan, India

Joshi, Shareen; Rao, Vijayendra. 2017. Who Should Be at the Top of Bottom-Up Development? A Case Study of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission in Rajasthan, India. Policy Research Working Paper No. WPS 7996. Washington, D.C. World Bank Group

33 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2017

See all articles by Shareen Joshi

Shareen Joshi

Georgetown University - Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS)

Vijayendra Rao

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: March 6, 2017

Abstract

It is widely acknowledged that top-down support is essential for bottom-up participatory projects to be effectively implemented at scale. However, which level of government, national or sub-national, should be given the responsibility to implement such projects is an open question, with wide variations in practice. This paper analyzes qualitative and quantitative data from a natural experiment in the state of Rajasthan in India, where a large national flagship project that mobilized women into self-help groups for micro-credit and created a women's network for other development activities was implemented in two different ways. Some sub-regions were given to the state government of Rajasthan to manage, while the Government of India centrally managed other sub-regions. The study finds that the nature of top-down management had a large bearing on the nature and quality of local-level facilitation. Centrally and locally managed facilitators formed several groups with similar financial performance. But centrally managed facilitators formed groups that were less likely to engage in collective action, be politically active, and engage with other civil society organizations. These results raise important questions on how responsibilities for participatory development projects should be devolved, and how the nature of management affects the sustainability of bottom-up interventions.

Keywords: Community Driven Development, Decentralization, Self-Help Groups, India

JEL Classification: D70, O10, D72

Suggested Citation

Joshi, Shareen and Rao, Vijayendra, Who Should Be at the Top of Bottom-Up Development? A Case Study of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission in Rajasthan, India (March 6, 2017). Joshi, Shareen; Rao, Vijayendra. 2017. Who Should Be at the Top of Bottom-Up Development? A Case Study of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission in Rajasthan, India. Policy Research Working Paper No. WPS 7996. Washington, D.C. World Bank Group. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2946619 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2946619

Shareen Joshi (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

HOME PAGE: http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/sj244/

Vijayendra Rao

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-458-8034 (Phone)
202-522-1153 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://vijayendrarao.org

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