ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

M S JohnSubscribe to M S John

Five Years of Participatory Planning in Kerala

Kerala's uniquely successful experiment in participatory planning has seen the mobilisation of several thousands of people in the implementation of the Ninth Five-Year Plan. The process had its problems that arose essentially from the absence of a clear perspective about decentralisation. The impact of changing policies following a change of government also has its effect on decentralised planning. An objective assessment of the plan campaign is hampered if viewed through the prism of partisan politics. This paper is also an attempt to look at the plan process from the perspective of decentralisation, rather than from the perspective of planning.

Building Social Capital through State Initiative

While the people's planning programme that began in 1996 is credited for the proliferation of grass roots level institutions in Kerala, this only added to the dense network of associational life that was built up in the state through years of social mobilisation and concomitant state action. This paper, based on a study of a village panchayat in Kottayam, looks at the objectives and trends that characterised this 'institutional revolution' and assesses its implications for social capital formation and the building up of a vibrant civil society capable of playing a vital role in local governance.
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