Improving the Effectiveness of Local Government

Location: Bihar, India
Client: World Bank, Bihar Department of Panchayati Raj
Sector: Governance
IDinsight service: Impact evaluation design

Background
The Government of Bihar delegates the execution of many of its duties to elected village heads and village councils (“Panchayati Raj Institutions” – PRIs).  Village leaders have long held a position of power in Indian government, but until 1993, this role was not formalized; Bihar adopted formal guidelines in 2006 for the structure of village government.  However, many of the obstacles to good governance – lack of training, transparency and resources – remain.

Intervention
The Government of Bihar in an effort to strengthen PRIs provides training to village leaders, information to citizens on their rights and entitlements, and government buildings for each cluster of villages.  The intervention seeks to address both supply- and demand-side challenges.

IDinsight Service
IDinsight designed an impact evaluation to measure the effect of the intervention on the inclusiveness, responsiveness, and accountability of PRIs in six districts of Bihar.  The matching study compared PRIs in intervention districts with similar PRIs in non-intervention districts to provide actionable evidence for the Government of Bihar to inform their decisions for state-wide roll out.