MGNREGS across 5 states in India

Launched in 2006, MGNREGS is one of India’s largest social protection schemes that has provided more than 30-billion person days of work till date. It has served as a critical lifeline, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic for millions of people in rural India. The impact of the scheme extends beyond alleviating poverty to improve nutritional intake and economic resilience, supplement farm income for poor farmers, and increase women’s access to and participation in paid employment. Although the program has been a strong rail for rural Indian households, critical gaps continue to undermine the scheme’s welfare potential. With the support of Omidyar Network India, Dalberg released an extensive study titled ‘The state of rural employment: A look at MGNREGS across 5 states in India’ covering Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. Along with understanding beneficiaries’ experience with MGNREGS, the report is among the first to spotlight challenges and perspectives of local administrators that can be useful for long term policy action and implementing immediate solutions at the frontline.