Maharashtra State Rural Livelihoods Mission

Institutional Building

Strong, affinity based and quality institutions of poor starting from SHGs at village level would be the primary building block of the MSRLM institutional design. MSRLM would promote SHGs with exclusive women membership. The idea is to reach out to all family members through women. Process of formation of SHGs which includes: organising the women into affinity based groups, developing group norms, practicing Panchasutra (regular meetings, regular savings, regular inter-loaning, timely repayment and up-to-date books of accounts), leadership development – would be followed for six months from formation. From six to twenty four months the focus would be on linkages, which includes: capacity building, micro investment plan (MIP), strenghthening the existing livelihoods of the members, linkages with banks and setting up primary federation. Beyond twenty four months, the focus would be more on visioning/planning, promoting new livelihoods, new products and creating social capital.

Higher level federations at various levels will be formed by aggregating SHG members which will provide a platform and space to voice members of SHGs and their demands (social and financial) to reduce their dependency on external agencies. The federations would help in knowledge and technology dissemination and would also act as hubs of production, collectivization and commerce. Responsibility of the federation would also include: bringing in all left out poor households into SHG, provide capacity building support, higher order financial and livelihood services and facilitate access to public services and entitlements.

Promotion of specialised institutions like livelihood collectives, producer's cooperatives/ companies for livelihoods promotion, which will work on scale, ensure backward and forward linkages, access to information, credit, technology and markets. Following the principles of subsidiarity, the federation at each level would have its own purpose, functionality and identity. These specialised institutions would be independent, yet organically interdependent. MSRLM would provide support  to strengthen these federations and its capacity to build systems and mechanisms of good governance, planning and review, accounts, internal and statutory and social audit, so that it can become sustainable.

Existing institutions of the poor women (whose membership is more than 70% of BPL households and above) formed by Government and efforts of NGOs and CSOs, would be strengthened by MSRLM in a partnership mode, to get their full potential to achieve saturation in coverage. MSRLM will ensure grading the quality of these existing groups and federations using appropriate grading methodology.

Investment by MSRLM would be in two fronts: a) creating a large scale of 'social capital' institutions of poor and b) capacity building of community cadre and community resource person. Quality social capital is foundation for sustainable community institutions. MSRLM envisages that the community resource persons would support the mission towards horizontal scaling and deepening of the process.

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