Decentralisation and NGOs decentralisation of the social protection function. India typiFes the prob-lem of trying to decentralise when there is pronounced variation in local institutional capacity and accountability. The move to decentralise provision of local public services to local village or municipal governments as legislated in the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments (the “Panchayati Raj” amendments) was in part motivated by the perception that these services functioned poorly due to the cen-tralised, hierarchical and non-participatory nature of their management. Part of this legislation measures were introduced to revitalise local rep-resentative institutions. These included mandatory elections at regular intervals, reservation of seats in village panchayats for women and mem-bers of scheduled castes and tribes and some devolution of government responsibilities to local authorities.
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