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The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: A Policy Solution to Rural Poverty in India?

Carley-Jane Stanton, Nurmaiya Brady, John Pattison-Williams, E.D. King, Chudhury Mishra, and Brent Swallow
Development Policy Review, Volume 35, Issue 3, May 2017, Pages 397–417 (Open Access)

Abstract: The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was developed by the Indian government to reduce rural poverty through 100 days of guaranteed employment per year. Using focus group methods, we explore whether this scheme has provided rights’ based social protection through guaranteed employment for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Odisha. We found that the experiences of participating in MGNREGA varied depending on how MGNREGA wages compared to market wages in the region, as well as local implementation of the program. Although MGNREGA offered some basic employment for marginalized groups, it did not provide substantial help to the most vulnerable. However, there was some evidence of small but significant shifts in labour relations. Higher wages, more opportunities for work, better implementation and a greater recognition of the caregiving responsibilities of women will be required for this policy to fully meet its goals.

url – http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dpr.12220/abstract
courtesy – Wiley

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