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An Independent Appraisal Report on Aspirational Districts Programme by UNDP India

An independent appraisal report on Aspirational Districts Programme has been released by UNDP India on 11 June 2021. In the report, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India has lauded the Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) as ‘a very successful model of local area development.

The report captures the progress of the Aspirational Districts Programme and makes recommendations for further improvements.

The report said that it should serve as a best practice in several other countries where regional disparities in development status persist for many reasons.

Report Released by:

The report was handed over by UNDP India Resident Representative Shoko Noda to NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar and CEO Amitabh Kant.

Report is Based on:

The report is based on quantitative analysis of publicly available data as well as interviews with various stakeholders, including district magistrates, central prabhari officers, district fellows and other development partners.

This UNDP analysis is based on 5 key sectors of the Aspirational Districts Programme:
  1. Health and nutrition
  2. Education
  3. Agriculture and water resources
  4. Basic infrastructure
  5. Skill development and financial inclusion

These 5 key areas of the Aspirational Districts Programme found that the programme has acted as a catalyst for expediting development in these districts.

According to the report:

» Health and nutrition, education sectors improved to a certain extent

» Agriculture and water resources have registered massive improvements

» Other indicators despite making significant strides offer scope for further strengthening

A comparison between the Aspirational Districts and their counterparts found that Aspirational Districts have outperformed non-Aspirational Districts.

Across the sectors of health and nutrition and financial inclusion the report found that:

» 9.6 percent more home deliveries were attended by a skilled birth attendant

» 5.8 percent more pregnant women with severe anemia were treated

» 4.8 percent more children diagnosed with diarrhoea were treated

» 4.5 percent more pregnant women registered for antenatal care within their first trimester

» 406 and 847 more enrolments, and 1580 more accounts opened per 1 lakh population under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantra Suraksha Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana, respectively.

In the report, UNDP also recommends the ‘Malaria Mukt Bastar Abhiyaan’ in Bijapur and Dantewada, which has reduced malaria incidences in these districts by 71% and 54%, respectively, as one of the ‘best practices’ found in Aspirational Districts.

The report also appreciated the delta rankings provided on the programme’s Champions of Change dashboard.

The report said ADP is ‘aligned to the principle of ‘leave no one behind’- the vital core of the SDGs.

Overall, the report has appreciated the positive impact of the programme. “Based on the findings of the evaluation, it is recommended that the success of this program be scaled up and replicated in other sectors and districts”. The report recommended several initiatives undertaken under the programme as best practices.

About ADP:

The Aspirational Districts Programme was launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in January 2018.

It was launched as a part of the government’s effort to raise the living standards of its citizens and ensure inclusive growth for all, ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’.

Source: PIB

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