Given the basic premise of the GPOD framework that the Gram Panchayat’s priorities and plans have to be driven by its members, the Knowledge Partner works closely with Gram Panchayats to provide knowledge and technical support and to build capacity within the Gram Panchayats to take informed decisions. The Knowledge Partners will therefore, build the capacity of the Gram Panchayatsto understand current status and prepare plans accordingly, map different human and financial resources which can be leveraged, prepare budgets and assist implementation of plans.
We envisage that the current year’s activities will pave way for designing and consolidating the concept of Knowledge Partnerships, where NGOs with deep expertise in specific sectors, may be able to embed their knowledge and framework in Gram Panchayats across the country for wider reach and institutional sustainability. In an action research mode, the Knowledge Partners are working with two Gram Panchayats to start with – Oorukunte Mittur and Dibburhalli.
Greening the village: Leveraging FES’ work in restoration of common natural resources
Foundation for Ecological Society (FES) has been working on ecological security through conservation and restoration of common lands like gomala, graveyards, wastelands, tanks etc, and leveraging funds from government schemes like National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS). Through the Knowledge Partnership, we leverage FES’s experience and knowledge in supporting the Production Head and related Standing Committee in implementing the ‘Greening the village’ function, which includes conservation and restoration of common lands. FES will work along with the Production Head and Standing Committee in planning and execution of conservation and restoration of common resources (land and water) by leveraging funds from Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) and other relevant government programs.
Child Nutrition: Leveraging Grama Vikas’ work in education and nutrition
Grama Vikas (GV) has been working on improving the nutritional status among children in its project area. As a result, it has developed extensive expertise in this area. Through the Knowledge Partnership, we leverage Grama Vikas’ experience and knowledge in supporting the Head- Social Justice and related Standing Committee in implementing the ‘Child Nutrition’ function, which includes enabling effective functioning of anganwadis. Grama Vikas will also help the Head –Social Justice/Amenities to track the mid day meal program for schools. It also seeks to handhold implementation of the Child Nutrition plan through the year.
Water and Sanitation: Leveraging Arghyam and Society for Community Participation and Empowerment program of Young Professionals in water and sanitation
Society for Community Participation and Empowerment (SCOPE) in collaboration with Arghyam piloted a programme of mentoring Young Professionals (YPs) to build expert human resource over a period of 18 months incorporating both classroom and experiential training in 2012-13. The encouraging results of the first cycle of the YP programme have paved way for widening the Society for Community Participation and Empowerment (SCOPE) and envisioning a sustainable path incorporating the learnings from the first batch.
Avantika Foundation has entered into a tripartite agreement with Arghyam and Society for Community Participation and Empowerment (SCOPE) towards supporting the Gram Panchayat, and specifically the Head- Amenities II and related Standing Committee in planning and implementation of the ‘Drinking water and sanitation’ function. Society for Community Participation and Empowerment (SCOPE) 2013-14 Young Professionals provide part time contribution to this partnership. Arghyam performs the role of the mentor and guide.