02Jul2014

Key Stakeholder Partnerships in Rural Development – A Crucial Need

By Aparna Mahajan—Director, Resource Mobilization and Partnerships

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According to the 2011 Census, about 69 percent of the country’s total population resides in rural India. With nearly three-quarters of the population, rural India has high potential for accelerating country’s overall socio-economic development. However, against the high national growth rate, slow growth in rural sectors, particularly the agriculture sector and among the vulnerable populations, remains a major policy concern. As per the new poverty estimates, 37.2 percent of the national population and 41.8 percent of the rural population lives below the poverty line.

Although the government has strived to enhance the socio-economic living conditions of rural people, through its five year plans and various schemes and initiatives in rural development, the efforts and the wide scale expenditure has not been adequate. This is reflected in the dismal condition of rural populace across the nation.

However, there has been an increasing awareness that development process is not the responsibility of the government alone. The growing realization has been that a multi-stakeholder involvement is necessary to achieve sustainable growth and development. Furthermore, the weak implementation and failures in some development programs have also prompted partnerships between the public and the private sectors.

The potential of rural India can be harnessed through building value-based partnerships for livelihoods promotion, human resources development, and financial inclusion while optimizing natural resources encompassing efficient water management and sustainable agriculture practices.

Through the Public-Private-People-Partnership (PPPP) initiatives, community partnerships can generate successful models, leading to the improvement of the lives of the rural masses. The roles of partner organizations will be complementary to each other’s work based on respective core strengths in the process of rural development. It is essential to engage multiple stakeholders as partners in rural development for poverty alleviation and inclusive growth in order to accelerate country’s overall development.

About Sehgal Foundation and Call for Partnerships

One of the main objectives of Sehgal Foundation is to improve the quality of life of rural people through poverty alleviation. Poverty is multidimensional and Sehgal Foundation focuses on a range of issue areas such as water resource, agriculture, income enhancement, sanitation, education, governance, capacity building of village-level institutions, and rural research. There are numerous opportunities and challenges ahead and naturally, they call for creation of partnerships across various actors of development—government, communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community based organizations, institutions and corporates.

For information about Sehgal Foundation’s partnerships and how to get engaged with us, please see www.smsfoundation.org