Consultation by Helicopter: People’s Participation in Policy Making in Malawi

After assessing the political climate influencing the 2001-2002 Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), this paper outlines the evolving nature of the relationship between Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the Malawian government. Despite considerable civic consultation during the government-initiated plan, Vision 2020, the PRSP process has been characterized by a limited timeframe and weak involvement by CSOs. The paper recommends steps for institutionalizing participation and transforming PRSP participation into participatory budget processes.

Samarthan’s Campaign to Improve Access to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India

By Ramesh Awasthi (Mahila Sarvangeen Utkarsh Mandal).

This case study was updated in 2013. The full version and short summary are available in English.

In India the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which guarantees a minimum of 100 days of unskilled work per year to every poor rural family that needs employment, has been ridden with bureaucratic glitches and widespread corruption. This case study examines a civil society campaign to address problems in the NREGA’s administration and mobilize people to demand work under the scheme.

The full version (August 2011), short summary (August 2011), and one page summary (August 2011) of this case study are available in English. Summaries (August 2011) are also available in Spanish, French, Chinese, and Arabic.