Participatory Assessment of Entitlements (PAE)
Participatory Assessment of Entitlements (PAE) is an SHG level discussion module.
PAE was developed with the primary objective of getting inputs to two components of the NRLM results framework – governance processes and household benefits.
Therefore, PAE includes components on
- Gram sabha meetings
- Household benefits
PAE is also an initiative aimed at sensitisation of SHG members on entitlements and benefits. PAE also works as a means of formulating a baseline and as a tool for information sharing among SHG members.
Discussions are facilitated by LRG members under the guidance of mentor resource persons. All SHGs in pilot areas are covered through PAE.
Objectives of PAE
- Sensitisation on and mobilisation for gram sabha and schemes
- Data collection for assessment of project progress
- Developing materials for planning for future activities
- Strengthening of LRG and village organisation (VO)
- Identification of active women from the SHG network
Outcomes of PAE
- Sensitisation and mobilisation of SHG members for strengthening planning and implementation of schemes through active participation in gram sabha
- Base line data for assessment of project progress
- Capacity building of LRG members
- Strengthening of SHGs and their federations
- Strengthening the linkage between CBOs and GPs
- Sensitisation of GP to demand for development and social security schemes among poor women and their families
The PAE Process
- Training of LRG members at block level
NRO orients the LRG on the concept and process of PAE. PAE module is explained to LRG and processes explained.
- Conduct of PAE in SHG meetings
LRG takes the lead in conducting PAE meetings at SHGs. PAE is always done either during regular SHG meetings; if this is not possible, it is held as per the convenience of the SHG members. Mentors support LRGs in the first couple of meetings in a block. Typically, a PAE meeting takes about 90 minutes.
- Consolidation of PAE data at VO level
Once all the SHGs in a VO complete their PAE meetings, data is consolidated and presented at the VO level. It is VO members who consolidate present the results, with support and guidance from LRG. Ward members are also invited to the meetings. The consolidated data of all SHGs in a VO provides a picture of the extent to which women are able to access entitlements. The document forms the basis for collective action with the GP.
- Consolidation of PAE data at GP level
After the completion of data consolidation in all the VOs in a GP, VO status documents are compiled at the GP level. Representatives from all the VOs in the GP attend the meeting. President and members of the GP are invited to the meeting.
GP level consolidated PAE report is a direct input to the GP; it also works as the starting point for the GP and the VO to discuss the possibilities of working together.
- Action plan preparation by VO based on PAE results and demand from SHG
VOs prepare action plans based on the consolidated SHG level PAEs.
- Consultative meetings of VO and GP to integrate VO action plan into the GP plan
VOs and GPs work together to integrate the VO action plan into the gram panchayat level development plan.
- Implementation plan to be developed laying down course of action for the next one year, mentioning specific roles of GP and VO in each activity.
Annual implementation plan is worked out at this stage.
The Ribbon Exercise
“The ribbon exercise was brilliant”, said MomiBaruah, one of the participant women in a meeting of Bikahit Village Organisation in Sutar Gaon GP, Nugaon, Assam. Momi Baruah was explaining the way they conducted PAE exercise in the SHGs under their VO.
“I was very proud to wear the blue ribbon for my attendance in Gram Sabha”, said Bharti Borah Saikya. She pointed out that ever since the LRG members started working with them, she made it a point to attend all the Gram Sabha meetings. Therefore, in the PAE exercise, while some of her friends who had attended only the last Gram Sabha got red ribbons, she proudly wore a blue ribbon.
In the PAE exercise, which was held for each SHG, they played the ribbon exercise. Two LRG members facilitated each meeting. Each of the attending women wore ribbons of particular colours according to their achievements. These achievements included attending several Gram Sabha meetings, having a toilet at home, using it etc”.
“The ribbon exercise helped women openly express things which they would not have been comfortable talking about. For example, a woman who has got a latrine at home wore a green ribbon while a woman who also used that toilet would wear a white one”, said Radha, a mentor overseeing the process from KS-NRO.
“It was the ward member who always used to decide who got what; now after attending Gram Sabha meetings and after going through the ribbon game, we know what to demand for”, said Julie Bordoloi. She said the ribbon game helped her SHG members to understand what was due to them from the GP and the government. “Now we know how to get it; nobody else can decide on these any more”.
“The ribbon game was very interesting”, said Bordoloi. At the end of the game in her SHG, she was asked to explain how she got the maximum number of ribbons on her wrists. She felt very proud. She was also proud about the particular colours of ribbon that she got.
While one of the two LRG members helped the women do the exercise, the other LRG member counted the ribbons and noted down relevant information. Responses where written against each question in the PAE schedule.
After completing the exercise in all the SHGs in a VO, the LRG members compiled the information at the VO level.
Entitlement Access Plan (EAP)
EAP is a Target Plan that each Village Organisation (VO) prepares for addressing the gaps in accessing entitlements identified during the Participatory Assessment of Entitlements (PAE). Using the information collected through PAE as baseline, each VO sets quarterly plans for different schemes. Once set, VO monitors and evaluates these targets on a regular basis.
EAP is prepared through discussions on the ways in which different schemes could be used for improving the state of poor households. A story ('Roshni') is used for facilitating the discussions.
Outcomes of EAP
- Consolidated Target Demand for different schemes
- Sensitisation of the community on the benefits of schemes
- Ownership of the community network in ensuring access to entitlements
- Support to PRI from CBO in enhancing the outreach of social welfare schemes
- Capacitation of PRI and CBO on plan preparation and implementation of schemes
The entitlement demand identified through participatory exercises is taken up with Gram Panchayat and appropriate line departments. The progress is monitored at regular intervals. The CBO functions here as a facilitator for ensuring basic entitlements of the community.
The CBO engages in consultations with the PRI and the line departments for presenting the status of entitlement access of the member households to them. The CBO also presents the demand for entitlements in consolidated form through consultations. The PAE and EAP are presented then to the Gram Sabha for approval.
CBO forms sub committees for different schemes as part of the preparations for the process. The VO sub committees are strengthened through training and awareness programmes. Each SHG identifies volunteers to work on different schemes. Institutionalisation of the consultative platform between CBOs and PRIs evolve through the process.
Active involvement of the CBO in the local demand generation and entitlement access plans adds to their capacities. Their engagement with the processes offers crucial support to the PRIs while exerts pressure for transparency and inclusion in scheme implementation. Participatory planning exercises offer a platform for PRIs and CBOs to engage with each other on a regular basis.