The Panchayati Raj Department of the Jharkhand government has initiated a pilot project in 28 panchayats with the objective of enhancing their overall well-being and transforming them into model panchayats.
In a strategic collaboration, the department has partnered with the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA), an autonomous institution that specializes in bolstering local governance capabilities in Kerala. The primary goal is to identify existing gaps and enhance the quality of service delivery across the selected 28 panchayats.
Officials have indicated that this capacity-building initiative is aimed at achieving ISO certification for these panchayats—a prestigious standards certification facilitated by KILA. The ISO certification signifies that the panchayat system is effectively meeting residents’ service expectations, and it demonstrates a commitment to continual improvement through evidence-based decision-making and active engagement.
During the initial week of August, KILA officials conducted several visits and conducted an initial assessment. They are expected to submit a comprehensive report by the end of this month, marking the commencement of the subsequent phase of work.
Detailing the methodology, Nisha Oraon, Director of the Panchayati Raj Department, explained that the development of the panchayats is envisioned in three stages. “The first stage involves a thorough gap analysis across key sectors such as health, water accessibility, anganwadi centers, education, and basic services within the panchayats. Given KILA’s expertise in capacity building in Kerala, we sought their involvement for this evaluation. Once their report is submitted, we will gather input from individual districts, local MLAs, and mukhiyas (village heads) on strategies to bridge these identified gaps.”
Emphasizing the importance of self-sufficiency for panchayats, Oraon elaborated that the third stage will involve the application of KILA’s services.
Sources indicate that KILA will undertake the capacity building of elected representatives and government officials within Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) through workshops. They will also train master trainers within the state, organize exposure visits to Kerala to showcase effective local governance, develop training modules addressing decentralization and development issues, and help generate revenue sources for the panchayats. Upon completion, the panchayats will receive ISO certification for their services.