Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India recognised Kudumbashree as a National Resource Organisation (KS-NRO) under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) in 2013. KS-NRO is expected to provide technical and implementation assistance to the State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLMs) that partner with it. KS-NRO started functioning in May 2013. It is based in Thiruvananthapuram, the State capital of Kerala.
KS-NRO works with partner-SRLMs on two domains.
- Making Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) work together (PRI-CBO Convergence)
- Enterprise Development
The purpose of the PRI-CBO Convergence Project is to enable the poor in understanding their entitlements, accessing them, and in enhancing their participation on local governance.
The Enterprise Development project focuses on creating community-based enterprise support systems at the local level in the form of Micro Enterprise Consultants (MECs) for helping poor people set up and run their own enterprises.
KS-NRO – Guiding Principle
KS-NRO’s guiding principle is to create local as well as State-level capabilities for the implementation of large scale projects. The NRO works on developing pilots in different States; the partner States are expected to take these forward based on the experiences of the pilots.
Four tenets of NRO’s approach to the projects in partner States:
- Developing proof of concept
- Building local capacities
- Professional support
Developing Proof of Concept
NRO draws from the Kudumbashree experience to develop suitable approaches for specific contexts in partner States. The context here could be a district, a Block, or a GramPanchayat. Pilot projects help NRO and the partner-SRLM in contextualising the content and method.
Building Local Capacities
NRO focuses on building local level resource pools in partner States. The approach is based on the belief that local people know their community the best and that a strong local cadre would ensure sustainability of project activities. The PRI-CBOConvergence Project develops Local Resource Groups (LRGs) and Block Resource Groups (BRGs). In Enterprises Project, it is Micro Enterprise Consultants (MECs) who form the local cadre.
Mentors are select resource persons from the Kudumbashree network placed in partner States. These are people with several years of experience, specially selected and trained for the programmes. These resource persons stay long term in the project areas and work with the local cadre and communities. Enterprises project has Master MECs as mentors; in the PRI-CBO convergence project, they are called mentor resource persons (Mentor RPs).
Ensuring the back end support from experienced and trained professionals to mentors and local resource persons is part of the KS-NRO approach. KS-NRO has a team drawn from reputed educational institutions across India and trained in Kudumbashree.
States that NRO has partnered with:
- For Enterprises and PRI-CBO convergence
- Five States: Jharkhand, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Sikkim
- For PRI-CBO convergence
- Two States: Assam, Odisha
- For Enterprises
- Two States: Bihar, Gujarat
Thus, NRO is working in seven States each on the convergence and enterprises project. Assam and Odisha has convergence project only while Bihar and Gujarat have only enterprises project. Five States have both the projects.