DRDA & Its Functionalities
- If effective programme design
is critical to successful implementation of rural development programmes, so is
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
The 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 Parishad.
- DRDAs 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.
- The DRDAs are expected to coordinate effectively with the Panchayati Raj The
institutions. Under no circumstances will they perform the functions of PRIs.
- The 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.
- The 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
- It 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
They shall take all necessary steps to achieve the prescribed norms.
- The 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.
- The 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.
- Keeping 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
- In addition the DRDAs shall coordinate and oversee the conduct of the BPL Census
and such other surveys that are required from time to time.
- The DRDAs shall also carry out/ aid in carring out action research/ or evaluation
studies that are initiated by the Central/ State Governments.
- The 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.