Most developing countries like India are truly found in the villages – not just the cities. With more than 70% of the population residing there, any national level improvement in development indicators would need improvements in the rural areas of the country. It is with this intention that IPE Global has a specialized sector to facilitate and address rural development issues. This includes economic development, improved planning, capacity building of local government institutions such as Village, Block and District Panchayats, better implementation of rural development programmes and poverty alleviation.
IPE offers the full range of its practices in the rural development sector. Hence apart from working to build capacity of panchayat and rural government leaders, we have been helping in economic planning, comprehensive district planning, convergence across various programmes at the Panchayat level as well as to develop a National Level Panchayat Accounts Manual for all the Panchayats in India. We have also conducted surveys, provided benchmarking services,developed community based information systems, developed financial management systems and set up processes for service delivery, complaint redressal and people's participation. We have also developed and designed systems for monitoring and evaluation on an on-going basis. Some of the key areas of IPE’s work in the rural sector are as follows:
- Conducting capacity building and study programmes for Panchayat functionaries from other states / countries to learn from good practices;
- Microplanning at the village level and consolidation of rural development plans at the Block and District Level;
- Social Safety Nets for development programmes in rural areas;
- Standard financial management and accounting procedures at all levels of Panchayats in India;
- Participatory techniques for poverty reduction including Focus Group Discussions, PLA and other tools;
- Women empowerment and economic development plans in rural areas;
- Evaluation of rural development programmes;
- Tracking of expenditure related to rural livelihood programmes;
Apart from these, IPE indirectly works in the rural areas in its other sectors too for instance health and nutrition, environment and education. In all these projects, the involvement and convergence of various departments and of the rural local governments is necessary. IPE, with its understanding of these varied sectors helps to bring them together and achieve holistic rural development which would lead to national growth.