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Published on: 11/08/2020

India at a glance
Bringing people together for better planning and budgeting

"The knowledge on local level planning and budgets has improved my capacity to engage better with the community. I can now suggest solutions for challenges that can be addressed with better planning at the local government level."
Suresh Parida, Project Manager (Watershed), Gram-Utthan

Working with strong partners we managed to engage with stakeholders at all levels: national, state, district, block and local (Gram Panchayat). The importance of building sector capacity has been recognised by the government so this is one of the areas we worked on most. We also worked on finance.

At the national level, we worked with sector partners to respond to consultations on guidelines for the 15th Finance Commission and the new piped water programme - the Jal Jeevan Mission - of the Central Government. We also worked with the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability and WaterAid on budget tracking. At the state level, we worked with UNICEF in urban areas to provide technical support to the Department of Urban Development of the Government of Odisha. In rural areas we worked on rural water policy consultations and assessing capacity building initiatives.

At the district level, we've been training CSOs in local planning and budget tracking for WASH. People like Suresh Parida, who has been working with communities for years, and women self-help group (SHG) members have benefited from such workshops.

At the Watershed annual partner meeting the women SHG members expressed the need for greater involvement in local planning and expenditure. The elected representative agreed that there was a need to address the information asymmetry, but stressed that it was the equal responsibility of all community members. Bringing people together to come up with solutions is what we are most pleased to see happening.

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