Skip to main content

MGNREGA Table of Contents

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

A Catalyst for Rural Transformation

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

MGNREGA performance

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?

Understanding vulnerability

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


Back to Books