West Bengal

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PACS worked in 5 districts in West Bengal with 5 Civil Society Organisation (CSO) partners. PACS projects covered 40 blocks, 1419 villages and reached 1,789,034 people.

Map of PACS districts in West Bengal

Impact: overall

  • 3544 Community Based Organisations (CBOs) were formed or re-formed. Over 98% of the CBOs were led by socially excluded groups. Membership of these CBOs totalled 39,366 people, 99% of whom were from socially excluded groups. 
  • 392 training and sensitisation events were conducted and, through these, 10,951 individuals (including CSO staff, service providers, CBO members and community members) were trained.
  • 65 discrimination cases were identified and resolved.
  • 46 Right to Information (RTI) applications were submitted.
  • 317 advocacy meetings with government officials were held, along with another 118 advocacy meetings with other stakeholders.
  • 27 recommendations were made to remove barriers and constraints in service delivery.
  • 93 public hearings were organised involving participants from 900 villages.

Impact: by theme

MGNREGA

  • 171,412 people were supported to apply for MGNREGA work and 139,673 people received MGNREGA work.
  • PACS helped to set-up the State Social Audit Directorate providing strategic planning, staff selection and training. As a result, 200 social audits covering 120 Gram Panchayats were carried out under a joint campaign between the State Rural Development Department and PACS CSOs. The PACS State Manager is on the governing body of the Directorate.
  • The PACS inclusive Intensive Participatory Planning Exercise (IPPE) model was institutionalised, ensuring active participation of socially excluded groups in the identification of MGNREGA work, asset planning and budgeting.

Land Rights

  • 35,717 homestead land claims were approved and the beneficiaries were linked to other government schemes to develop their land.

Health and Nutrition

  • 53,917 institutional deliveries were facilitated and 44,605 women were supported to receive full benefits under the JSY maternal health scheme.
  • 37,025 children received their full entitlements to nutrition under the ICDS scheme.
  • 1786 Anganwadi centres were supported to improve their services under the ICDS scheme and 147 were developed as demonstration centres, incorporating all six ICDS components and providing community-based tracking of malnutrition.
  • 1000 RSBY Mitras were trained to provide community-level support on the RSBY health insurance scheme and 103 RSBY resource centres were established in areas predominantly inhabited by socially excluded groups.
  • PACS advocacy with service providers helped to create women-friendly health service delivery, allowing socially excluded groups greater access to health benefits.
  • One of the PACS partner CSOs was appointed on the governing body of the State Health Mission. 

Education

  • 13,033 out-of-school children were supported to return to mainstream government schools.
  • Interventions happened in 632 government schools to improve the quality of education and infrastructure.
  • 285 Children's Watch Groups, 50 Child Parliaments and 212 adolescent groups were formed to look out for issues such as school dropout, child marriage and trafficking.

Livelihoods and Skills

  • ​5 skills training centres were set-up under the PACS Skills.in programme at which 3056 youth from socially excluded communities received vocational training. 2508 were placed in jobs.
  • 105 legal volunteers were trained to protect women against violence.

Impact: photo gallery

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Find more West Bengal case studies and resources on the PACS Learning Zone.

Lessons learnt

  • CSOs can lead the social inclusion agenda provided they are given appropriate tools and support. They can also play a catalytic role in improving the performance of social security schemes and ensuring their benefits reach socially excluded groups.
  • CBOs are effective instruments in leading social change at the community level. They provide platforms for socially excluded groups to voice their rights and entitlements.
  • Evidence-based advocacy and engagement makes service providers more responsive and accountable.

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