Role and Functions of the District Rural
effective programme design is critical to
successful implementation of rural development programmes,
so is an effective delivery agency.
None of the anti- poverty programmes can
have impact unless they are implemented with a clarity
of purpose and a commitment to the task.
It is here that the DRDAs play a critical role. The DRDAs are not be implementing
agencies, but can be very effective in enhancing the quality of implementation through
overseeing the implementation of different programmes
and ensuring that necessary linkages are provided. To this extent the DRDA is a supporting
and a facilitating organisation and needs to
play a very effective role as a catalyst in development process.
District Rural Development Agency is visualised
as a specialised and a professional agency
capable of managing the anti- poverty programmes
of the Ministry of Rural Development on the one hand and to effectively
relate these to the overall effort of poverty eradication in the
District. In other words, while the
DRDA will continue to watch over and ensure effective utilisation
of the funds intended for anit-poverty programmes, it will need to develop a far greater understanding of
the processes necessary for poverty alleviation/ eradication. It will also need to develop the capacity
to build synergies among different
agencies involved for the most effective results. It will therefore need to develop
distinctive capabilities rather than perform tasks that are legitimately
in the domain of the PRIs or the line departments. The role of the DRDA will therefore be
distinct from all the other agencies including the Zilla
must themselves be more professional and should be able to interact effectively
with various other agencies. They
are expected to coordinate with the line departments, the Panchayati Raj Institutions, the banks and other
financial institutions, the NGOs as well as the technical institutions,
with a view to gathering the support and resources required for poverty
reduction effort in the district.
It shall be their endeavor and objective to secure inter-sectoral and inter- departmental coordination and
cooperation for reducing poverty in the district. It is their ability to coordinate and bring about a
convergence of approach among different agencies for poverty alleviation
that would set them apart.
DRDAs are expected to coordinate effectively with the Panchayati
institutions. Under no
circumstances will they perform the functions of PRIs.
DRDAs are expected to oversee the implementation of different anti-poverty
programmes of the Ministry of Rural Development
in the district. This is not to be
confused with actual implementation, which will be by the Panchayati Raj and other Institutions. The DRDAs will monitor closely the
implementation through obtaining of periodic reports as well as frequent
field visits. The purpose of the
visit should be to facilitate the implementing agencies in improving
implementation process, besides ensuring that the quality of implementation of
programmes is high. This would include overseeing whether
the intended beneficiaries are receiving the benefits under the different programmes.
DRDAs shall keep the Zilla Parishad,
the State and the Central Government duly informed of the progress of the
implementation of the programmes through
periodic reports in the prescribed formats. Special report, as and when called for,
shall be provided.
shall be the duty
of the DRDAs to oversee and ensure that the benefits specifically
earmarked for certain target groups (SC/ST, women and disabled) reach
them. They shall take all necessary
steps to achieve the prescribed norms.
DRDAs shall take necessary step to improve the awareness regarding rural
development and poverty alleviation particularly among the rural
poor. This would involve issues of
poverty, the opportunities available to the rural poor and generally
infusing a sense of confidence in their ability to overcome poverty. It would also involve sensitizing the
different functionaries in the district to the different aspects of
poverty and poverty alleviation programmes.
DRDAs will strive to promote transparency in the implementation of
different anti- poverty programmes. Towards this end, they shall publish
periodically, the details of the different programmes
and their implementation.
in view, the substantial investment that are being made in poverty
alleviation programmes, the DRDAs shall ensure
financial discipline in respect of the funds received by them, whether
from Central or State Governments. They shall also ensure that the
accounts are properly maintained including in respect of the funds
allocated to banks or implementing agencies in accordance with the
guidelines of different programmes.
the role of the DRDA is in terms of planning for effective implementation
of anti-poverty programmes; coordinating with
other agencies- Governmental, non-Governmental, technical and financial
for successful programme implementation;
enabling the community and the rural poor to participate in the decision
making process, overseeing the implementation to ensure adherence to
guidelines, quality, equity and efficiently; reporting to the prescribed
authorities on the implementation; and promoting transparency in decision
making and implementation.
addition the DRDAs shall coordinate and oversee the conduct of the BPL
Census and such other surveys that are required from time to time.
DRDAs shall also carry out/ aid in carring out
action research/ or evaluation studies that are initiated by the Central/
DRDAs should deal only with the anti-poverty programmes
of the Ministry of Rural Development.
If DRDAs are to be entrusted with programmes
of other ministries or those of the State Governments, it should be
ensured that these have a definite anti-poverty focus. Entrusting of any programme
to the DRDAs, other than anti- poverty programmes
of the Ministry, be it of any other Ministry of Government of India or the
respective State Government will have to be done with the approval of the
Secretary, Rural Development of the
respective State(s), who should examine such request in consultation with
the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, In such cases, it
must be ensured that adequate provision is made for requisite staffing
needed for proper implementation of the programme.
order to be effective, the DRDA must have an appropriate staffing structure as
well as suitable personnel policy.
Keeping in view the role and functions of the DRDA listed in the
previous chapter, the staffing structure
of DRDA must include positions for Planning for poverty alleviation, Project
formulation, Social organisation and Capacity building,
Gender concerns, Engineering supervision and Quality control, Project
monitoring, Accountancy and Audit functions as well as Evaluation and Impact
studies. An indicative staffing
structure is given in Annexure and is also detailed below. The State Government may modify the structure
suitably, but without altering the basic design, to take care of the needs of
individual districts keeping in view their size as well as specificity. However, this will also be subject to the
overall ceiling of administrative costs admissible to the DRDAs in the
State. By and large the staff appointed
should be dedicated to DRDA- related works and should not be frequently