IGNOU through the Ministry of Panchayati Raj and under the sponsorship of United Development Programme (UNDP) undertook a project on ‘Capacity Building of PRIs through a Multi-Mode Training Intervention’ as an attempt at empowering and capacity building of elected members of Panchayats and development functionaries. It also aims at institutionalising mechanisms to strengthen this capacity building intervention. The project covered six northern states including Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) as the implementing agency.
In terms of strategy, it involved developing a suitable learning package through a balanced mix of distance learning and conventional training; adapting the Materials to local requirements and implementing the capacity building intervention through distance mode for the elected members of Panchayats and train associated development functionaries in face to face mode through a signing of MoU between IGNOU and UNDP network of SIRDs and NGOs.
In terms of activities and output, the project has been able to prepare a learning package consisting of 11 self-learning booklets and associated six video programmes for distribution among the Panchayats; undertake capacity building of Collaborating Institutions (CIs); publication of local governance updates; conduct BDO’s Symposia and orientation programmes for development functionaries. One of the major activities taken up by the above CIs was to undertake hardware mapping of Panchayats in four districts in each participating State. The report has been recently published.