OECD Development Centre Working Papers

The OECD Development Centre links OECD members with developing and emerging economies and fosters debate and discussion to seek creative policy solutions to emerging global issues and development challenges. This series of working papers is intended to disseminate the OECD Development Centre’s research findings rapidly among specialists in the field concerned. These papers are generally available in the original English or French, with a summary in the other language.

English, French

Institutional Change and Its Impact on the Poor and Excluded

The Indian Decentralisation Experience

This study analyses the impact of democratic decentralisation on the chances of socially excluded groups to participate in newly created local governance institutions – Panchayati Raj Institutions – in three Indian states. This institutional reform included a quota for the disadvantaged – women and lower castes – to ensure their effective participation. The comparative analysis on the determinants of participation of these groups and the poor vis-à-vis other groups across the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh yields highly interesting results, relevant beyond the Indian context. First, the outcomes of decentralisation on participation are different across states and between different marginalised groups. While in Kerala socially disadvantaged groups and the poor are represented more than other groups at the Panchayat level, in Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh the socially disadvantaged groups are as represented as the others whereas the poor continue to be largely ...


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