Institute for Social and Economic Change

Working Paper: 395

Is Decentralisation Promoting or Hindering the Effective
 Implementation of MGNREGS?: The Evidence from Karnataka

D Rajasekhar
Salim Lakha
R Manjula



Decentralisation is viewed by some as an effective means of improving governance and equitable spread of development benefits. This paper examines the process of distribution of social protection benefits through decentralised governance by looking at the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in Karnataka, which is ranked high on the devolution index. But, the implementation of MGNREGS under decentralised governance has produced lacklustre results and uneven benefits. Powerful social actors at the local level have devised careful modus operandi to dilute transparency mechanisms and stifle voices from below to subvert the scheme to suit their interests.


Working Papers