District Level Monitoring
ARAVALI was invited by the Government of India (GoI) to take up this study. The Government of India was keen to have a concurrent assessment of the rural development programmes being implemented by the state government. ARAVALI had done a similar exercise for the GoI in the past. However this was a much larger exercise covering 10 districts in the state. The monitoring had to be accompanied by field verification of completed tasks under the Rural Development and Total Sanitation Schemes of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. ARAVALI decided to undertake this assignment as it would provide an insight into the field level realities of development programmes of the government. Given the intensity of field work, external consultants are hired. Besides, a taskforce within ARAVALI was also formed to support field consultants appropriately. The reports have been submitted to the GoI. At the time of writing we have just received comments from them and we are working on them.
Random Sample Survey of Habitations
This was an exercise taken up on the request of the Department of Drinking Water in the Ministry of Rural Development New Delhi. The objective of the study was to verify the implementation of drinking water schemes set up under various government programmes.
This exercise took a substantial time of the CSG team. It involved taking up a field survey of 755 habitations across Rajasthan. We were able to reach out to about 10,000 families residing in remote locations across the state to study their habitations to check for issues such as access to water. Information on this study can be made available to anyone having interest in this issue.
The two tasks were more complicated than they seemed as the availability of data was a major constraint in taking the studies forward. There was an unfortunate delay in beginning the assignments and therefore we ended up behind schedule. Though ARAVALI has been able to do a fairly good assessment the essential learning has been that assessments of this nature are best undertaken by larger social research firms; or alternatively, in case ARAVALI has to undertake a similar exercise it would be advisable to set up a team separate from any online responsibilities.