The Social Protection Initiative at Dvara Research is pleased to announce the release of the report titled, ‘Delivery of Social Protection Entitlements in India: Unpacking Exclusion, Grievance Redress, and the Relevance of Citizen-Assistance Mechanisms’. The report has been prepared in collaboration with our research partners, Gram Vaani, University of Montreal, and Tike Vaani. This research study is funded by Azim Premji University as part of the COVID-19 Research Funding Programme 2020.
We use an exclusion framework to document the challenges citizens faced in accessing their social protection entitlements during the period of March to November 2020. Using Gram Vaani’s IVR-based database of citizen complaints, the report provides a succinct typology of exclusionary factors in welfare delivery and also describes in rich detail the various resolution pathways that were used by Gram Vaani volunteers to assist excluded citizens. We cover citizens across seven DBT schemes, MGNREGA, PDS, and Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. In addition to broad policy recommendations, we also propose a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that can be a ready reference for community-based institutions, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), or government-run help centres, engaged in citizen assistance in the field of social welfare and accountability. This post summarises some of the key findings of the project.
The full report is available here.
 For the purpose of this study, the set of DBT schemes includes the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), Pensions, Jan Dhan Yojana, cash transfers under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, Welfare Board schemes (specific to Tamil Nadu), and some other state-specific transfers. Please note that although MGNREGA wages are transferred through the DBT system, we have created a separate framework for the scheme given some of its unique features, including raising work demand and work allocation.