|INTEGRATED DISTRICT APPROACH - LALITPUR|
|MESSAGE from District Magistrate, Lalitpur|
It gives me immense pleasure to inform that the UNICEF Office for Uttar Pradesh has played a pivotal role in providing technical support to the district administration for enhancing integrated delivery of services through the Integrated District Approach (IDA) in Lalitpur district.
I understand that the IDA was launched in late 2004 and early 2005 in seventeen districts across 14 States in the country, and is the culmination of key strategies outlined in the successive MPOs of UNICEF India since the mid-eighties. These strategies focused on promoting community action and the integrated delivery of services by establishing horizontal linkages between line agencies on the one hand and establishing an interface between the communities and the line agencies on the other to ensure responsive, relevant and convergent delivery of services.
Alongside, the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments have given a renewed impetus in all national development programmes on decentralized community managed programming as a key strategy for sustainable development and results. Implicit in this approach is the need for facilitating awareness generation leading to community mobilization; empowerment, collective action, convergence, and inter-sectoral coordination. Development of village plans for health, nutrition, education, water and sanitation resulting in the ownership of the process and activities at the community level is central to almost all national programmes. The 5-day Village Planning process led by UNICEF in the Integrated district of Lalitpur has been adapted in the District Planning Manual developed by the Planning Commission of India which lays out the broad policy framework for decentralized planning. Besides formation of community groups of women and adolescent girls, UNICEF through its network of NGO Partners have helped identifying and training over 4,000 Balbandhus across all 6 blocks of the district on social and behavioural issues, and generating demands for service delivery. Appropriate review and monitoring mechanisms for responsive service delivery such as District and Block level task forces were set up with UNICEF support. Knowledge centres referred as Village Information Centres have also been established in all the villages to facilitate knowledge sharing with community on various thematic issues, besides flagship schemes and its benefits. UNICEF has facilitated the district administration in introducing a system for equity tracking, where a set of critical service delivery indicators under key flagship programmes were identified as Red Alerts for the community to report on for seeking urgent attention and response.
I am confident that the initiatives piloted under IDA will act as replicable models for other districts both within and outside the State of Uttar Pradesh.