Micro Planning: A Tool for Empowerment
Micro planning is a comprehensive planning approach. A community prepares village development plans together. They include everyone in the planning process to ensure that they incorporate all problems. Once they have identified all the problems, they can prioritize their development projects. Micro planning makes village development plans sustainable by involving the whole community.
Sehgal Foundation found that villages around Mewat, Haryana had not used bottom-up approaches before. They even found that many Panchayat (village council) members had never heard of micro planning. Sehgal Foundation believes that micro planning is a critical component of successful village development.
The Capacity Building program of Sehgal Foundation organized a weeklong workshop for Panchayat members. The workshop aimed to teach participants about micro planning and how to use it. It also emphasized why it is different and more effective than traditional planning approaches. Trainees then participated in a three-day micro planning exercise. They conducted the exercise in Untaka village, Mewat, Haryana. It enabled them to see firsthand what problems can arise and how to address them.
The village Sarpanch (village council leader) and Panchayat participated in the workshop. They learned about Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), an integral component of micro planning. PRA incorporates the participation of villagers in the planning and management of development projects. It helps determine villagers’ needs and prioritizes development works.
During the exercise, villagers collected and analyzed information. They used this information to create a development issues prioritization map. Villagers also identified village development problems and came up with solutions in groups. On the third day of the exercise, they organized a Gram Sabha (village committee). 250 villagers participated, including 65 women and 185 men. The village Sarpanch shared the village analysis and development plans. Villages made suggestions and helped improve the plan. They then submit the final plan to the Block Development office for approval and the sanctioning of funds.
“After the successful conduct of Gram Sabha in our village, we now need to build relations with the district level departments to implement the plans,” said the Sarpanch of Untka. The Panchayat and villagers of Untka learned that micro planning is an effective tool for creating village development programs.
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