PRI Election Process Manuals
The marginalized communities are systematically excluded from the democratic election processes by not providing adequate information and opportunities by the people and communities who have vested interest. CNI SBSS aims to build adequate representation of marginalized communities in the decision making bodies such as Panchayat systems.
Panchayats play an important role in delivering the benefits Government Schemes and provisions to people; thus, one of the primary objectives of the project is to facilitate strengthening of Panchayats. CNI SBSS had been conducting workshops and capacity building programs to raise local leaders from Dalits and tribal communities, who are nurtured as potential candidates to contest in Panchayat elections. The community members are capacitated on the process of election and during the process potential leaders are selected and nurtured to represent the marginalized communities in the decision making bodies. These leaders will be able to take the voices of the marginalized and vulnerable communities’ voices to the larger forum and make sure that their needs are addressed. Democratic election process ensures election of better candidates and hence, it is necessary to ensure that Panchayats are strong and transparent and accountable.
CNI SBSS observed that there is a need to provide detailed information on different aspects of Panchayati Raj election process. Trainer’s Manuals were developed with an aim to conduct capacity building programs on Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRI), for five operational States, viz. Odisha, West Bengal, Haryana, Punjab, and Jharkhand. The manuals are based on the election processes prescribed by law and election commission for each State, since laws and procedures is different in different States in relation to Panchayat. The manuals contain detailed information on processes, eligibility criteria, notification, publication, campaigns, election, appointments, committees, etc. Workshops have been conducted in Kolkata, Sambalpur, Phulbani, Durgapur and Chotanagpur based on the manuals. 27 workshops were conducted in Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha with the members of Community Based Organizations and People’s Organizations. In total 1063 (559 Male & 504 Female) community members were trained on Panchayat Election Process in 2015. CNI SBSS aims to facilitate substantial participation and representation of marginalized communities in the governance systems. The manual is a guideline for the trainers to train the potential leaders and members of CBOs and Pos, these manuals will be translated into regional languages to make it more convenient for the trainers.