Sonalde Desai, Prem Vashishtha and Omkar Joshi
Table of Contents:
1. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and Its Implementation
Background and intent
Mandate, Highlights and Paradigm shift
MGNREGA governance structure
Days of employment and wage expenditure
MGNREGA on the ground
2. Who Participates in MGNREGA?
Careful analysis is required to evaluate MGNREGA
MGNREGA is also important to the non-poor
MGNREGA seems to be reaching disadvantaged groups
MGNREGA is a key element of household survival strategy
A glass half empty
Is geographic targeting feasible?
3. How Important is MGNREGA in Shaping Household Income Security?
Vulnerable households and MGNREGA use
MGNREGA’s role in household income
MGNREGA’s role in reducing poverty
Employment gap and the wage bill of poverty alleviation
4. MGNREGA in a Changing Rural Labour Market
Transformation of rural Indian labour markets
MGNREGA constitutes only a small part of rural labour markets
What did MGNREGA workers do before MGNREGA?
MGNREGA and growth in rural wages
What can IHDS tell us about changes in rural wage structure?
Minimizing unintended consequences
5. How Does MGNREGA Improve Household Welfare?
Methodological challenges to evaluating impact
Reliance on moneylenders declines, increasing borrowing
Children’s education improves
MGNREGA participation empowers women
Causality versus programme benefits
6. Challenges Facing a Demand-Driven Programme in an Unequal Society
Participatory democracy or elite capture?
Managing a demand-driven, grassroots programme