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India

Consolidating betterment of public services for remote communities in India

ACTED intervenes in North-East India to support governance projects aiming at improving the quality and delivery of public welfare programmes, by disseminating information among communities, targeting especially women and marginalised households such as Scheduled Castes or Tribes ; strengthening the capacity of service providers; and ensuring their accountability. 2016 saw the creation of a local entity, allowing ACTEDto adapt to the evolving context and funding trends, as the country is rapidly becoming a major player in the global economy, despite deep persistent inequalities.

The communities targeted by ACTED in North-East India are extremely remote. Their situation remains particularly precarious due to the isolation of the region as a whole, coupled with numerous migration fluxes, which contribute altogether to recurrent political or social tensions or even confrontations. Moreover, the region is exposed to frequent natural disasters, which cause massive displacement of non-resilient communities on a yearly basis. In this context, ACTED strives to target the most vulnerable by enhancing their access to public schemes, thus contributing to their well-being.

Informing marginalised community members about their entitlements

One of the main obstacles hampering access to the welfare schemes of the government, such as free health care for children, housing facilities, or provision of 100 days of paid work per year, is the lack of information available. This leads to a significant lack of awareness of remote communities on the benefits they are entitled to, and the way they can access them. To remedy this, ACTED produces and broadcasts radio and television programmes in all of North-East India. This comes in addition to targeted communication activities in 200 villages, where households receive direct information and support.

Encouraging service providers to improve government schemes

Following the conclusions of various assessments conducted by ACTED and its partners, an advocacy strategy has been developed to support the service providers in improving welfare schemes. In addition to the lack of information, poor service delivery has been identified as the other main hindrance to entitlements. Discrimination, as well as limited human resources and financial management and monitoring, contribute to inadequacy of the schemes to the needs of the communities they are supposed to serve. ACTED privileges direct and regular interaction with the concerned service providers to encourage concrete actions to be taken for the improvement of public schemes.

 

Partners in 2016:

EuropeAid

 

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