Effectiveness of Service Delivery In Panchayat: Experience From Tamil Nadu
It has been widely argued that decentralized governance is an instrument for multifaceted development and it can ensure effective and equitable development at grassroots level (Maro 1990; Tuner 2000: 115; World Bank 2000:107). This is because, locally elected representatives know their small constituency better and are in advantageous position to provide better services according to their electorate’s preferences. It is easier for the electorates to hold elected bodies accountable for their performance (Higgins 1992:3). In the present study, development refers to the progress achieved in decentralized governance per se and its effective, equitable and sustainable delivery of services to the satisfaction of the people. Effectiveness is understood as the ability of decentralized governance to produce results that meet the future needs of society while making the best use of resources at their disposal. Equity is defined as the ability of decentralized governance to distribute and to deliver services fairly as well as fair justice in the society to the satisfaction of disadvantaged groups, particularly the SCs, STs, women, including minorities and people below the poverty line. Sustainability means the ability of decentralized governance to generate and to maintain the development process for a longer period. This paper focuses on the effectiveness of service delivery by the panchayats in the state of Tamil Nadu.