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Category: Queries

Involving community in Construction and Maintenance of Flood SheltersAdvice

I work for ActionAid International in Bangladesh as DIPECHO (Disaster Preparedness ECHO) Project Manager. The objective of the project is to “Enhance Disaster Preparedness among Communities and Institutions in Bangladesh”. One of the major activities of the current project is construction of Community Based Flood Shelters. The shelter would be built in one of the river islands where thousands of residents are displaced due to flooding of the Yamuna River.

For this project we want incorporate learning from similar work that has already been done by different agencies and incorporate the lessons. Also, this is an action research initiative and after the project we will publish a strategy paper on construction of Flood Shelters. This will be relevant to other countries especially India. In view of the above, we request members of the Disaster Management and Water community to advice on four very critical issues of:

  1. What are the criteria that must be kept in mind for site selection? (Like height of the site, type of soil, infrastructure etc.).
  2. What are the concerns of vulnerable groups like children, disabled and women, especially for drinking water and sanitation, and what steps that is to be taken to ensure that these are adequately addressed?
  3. How can the Community participate in and contribute to the design and construction of shelters? Also, what are the essential facilities needed to ensure proper care of the community?
  4. What Steps must be taken to maintain and use the shelters round the year? Is there a possibility to work on a revenue model where the shelter generates some kind of revenue which can be used for its maintenance and upkeep? (Please share any experiences of Post construction maintenance practices)

Members are also requested to provide any reference documents on this issue. We sincerely hope that the complete report of our study will be a good reference for humanitarian agencies across countries. Contributions from the Solution Exchange Community will be acknowledged in the strategy paper.

Thanks and best regards…

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Improving Muster Roll and Measurement Procedure in NREGA

I am Samir Garg, working on the issue of tribal rights in Chhattisgarh with Adivasi Adhikar Samity. Our intervention has a focus on promoting grassroots mobilisation around food and work entitlements.

Being an activist working on issues of Right to Food and Work, I was concerned about the anomaly in current muster roll design in my state as it resulted in a large number of NREGS workers not getting paid as per the amount of task done by them. There was little information in the public domain on how to improve the muster roll design. I put a query in Solutions Exchange Work and Employment Community as I was confident that this would help me in accessing the specific information I was looking for.

Specific Inputs:

The muster roll designs that were shared by members of Solutions Exchange Work and Employment Community were indeed very useful. I received examples of muster roll designs from the states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Kerala. The details of the specific responses that have been considered for my design plan are discussed below:

Inputs from Maharashtra: Attendance is taken twice (morning and afternoon) every day in an Attendance Sheet. Labourers work in groups and the evaluation of the volume of group work is evaluated weekly and payments are disbursed fortnightly in accordance with the amount of work done. A Schedule of Rates is maintained that looks keeps a tab that if a labourer works for seven hours then he/she can be entitled to the minimum wage.

‘To ensure transparency in the measurement procedures, a provision in Maharashtra makes it mandatory for the implementing organization to put up a display board in a local language near the work site clearly citing the way a sample of work is measured and wages calculated. This provision helps the labourers in keeping a record of their work and counters any miscalculations done by the implementing agency and hence prevents any potential loss of their wage’.

Inputs from Rajasthan: This elucidates the state having one of the most comprehensive and transparent system for measuring labourer’s work. There is a proforma for recording daily work that got created as a result of labour movement among the worker’s organization. The proforma advocates for recording and measurement systems for individual’s work rather that basing on attendance. It was worth noting that this movement has impacted the implementation strategy of other states as well.

The following attachments, which have been approved by the Government of Rajasthan, have given excellent insight for the muster roll design plan:

  • Dainik Karya Maap Proforma (Daily Work Measurement Proforma)
  • Karyasthala Diary (Worksite Diary)
  • Napti Board (Measurement Board)
  • Nirdesh (Guidelines)
  • Saamagri Sandharan Register

Inputs from Kerala: There were suggestions on how each possible work under NREG could be defined separately and possible result for all of them can be recorded using systematic Time and Motion studies. This would simplify the estimation and measurement greatly. It was noteworthy that the Government of Kerala was in the process of finalizing the above-mentioned procedure in the pilot districts of NREGS within the state.

It was further suggested that each labor team may be assigned a work in total and record the muster role as per field conditions. After the completion of the work, the valuation amount could be divided as per attendance. However, the payment of each family could be limited to hundred days of minimum wages as per the act. This would give incentive for more people to join the scheme and larger assets can be created.


The diverse and specific responses from various parts of the country were immensely helpful. I will state some of the outcomes from my seeking the services of the Solution Exchange below.

  • Design of an appropriate muster roll design:
    The inputs from members helped me in understanding ways to resolve the issues of muster roll design. They gave me a thorough exposure to the existing practices across the country and also brought to light the challenges, learning and successes of the practice. The discussion enabled me to compare experiences and practices of other states with the existing system in my state (Chhattisgarh) and assess their relative merits and demerits. The information and reflection put together enabled me to develop a muster roll format that was appropriately designed and adapted for measurement and recording of daily individual task.
  • Strengthening the knowledge of civil society Groups for  influencing Policy in Chattisgarh:
    I was able to share the information received from SE in response to the query posted with my colleagues in the Right to Food Campaign in Chhattisgarh. The campaign team in turn was able to think of further collection of local field data so that the desired strategy for advocacy on the issue with the state government could be formulated. The muster roll design plan for the state of Chhattisgarh is in the process. The policy dialogue with the stakeholders has already started but yet to yield results.

I am highly satisfied with the abovementioned responses and inputs received from the members. I am particularly impressed with the efforts of the Work and Employment Community in contacting the potential sources of the required information. Apart from the above specific benefit, as a member of the SE Work and Employment Community, I have gained from my regular interaction with the platform. I regularly go through (and sometimes even participate in) queries and related debates posted by other member of the community. Here knowledge exchange creates a rippling effect in knowledge dissemination across different sections of the society.…

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Query on CLimate change – Referrals, Examples

As we all know climate change is impacting each one of us in some way or the other. Access to relevant information on climate change is vital for public awareness and in turn for public to voice its concern and radio is a powerful medium of communication with its wider reach. Given the importance of radio as information delivery system, we are cross-posting this query with the ICTD Community to get a more broad based response and feedback. We look forward to your responses with keen interest.

I work for the Kamalnayan Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation which has interventions in 200 villages of five talukas of Wardha district inMaharashtra state since 2009. It aims at integrating development of society through participatory approaches that sets benchmarks and standards for others to emulate for sustainable development. Recently we have made partnership with NABARD for WADI development projects under its Tribal Development Fund. We are also addressing climate change issues through execution of the above programs including awareness generation.
Like the Government of India, we also recognize climate change as a major development challenge and creating mass awareness in this regard is of utmost importance. The impacts of climate change affect all of us, all countries, all states and all sections of the society, and we must strive to move to a climate resilient and low-carbon growth and development path.
TV, print and cyber media has already been used widely for spreading awareness on environmental issues. Awareness generation through the radio, which was a traditional medium of communication, could reach a wide section of Indian society to understand the nuances of climate change and how an individual’s carbon footprint adds to the overall problem, and how an individual’s actions can help reduce the problem. In the race for development we have left behind our traditional systems of communication which are more energy efficient and effective. However, communication through the print and electronic media being used extensively these days is more energy consuming, more resource intensive, market driven leading to greater resource consumption thereby altering the equity of co-existence of all species on the planet.
We seek your views on the following:
  • What role the radio, both commercial radio stations and community radio could play in spreading awareness on key themes related to climate change?
  • What are the specific themes that could have a greater impact for creating awareness when radio is used as a medium for communication?
  • What are the issues that need to be taken up by the print and electronic media that could make an impact on the masses?
We look forward to your enthusiastic response on this crucial area for creating awareness on climate change which is an integral part of our Programme. Contribution of members will be suitably acknowledged.
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