Public systems across sectors in India are inadequate, and the lack of accountability is a binding constraint. The government attempts to deliver on its commitment to a transparent, decentralized and well-functioning state. Still, public authorities seem to lack both - the capacity (technical and administrative) and ability (political and institutional) to deliver public goods, characterizing India's state capabilities as weak. This cavity in the system leaves a significant need to enhance the competency of administrative structures and human resources.
''Understanding State Capabilities' places state capability at the front of the debate on governance and accountability. By focusing on the capability gap in the governance structure, the course equips participants to understand the root causes of administrative failure.
This knowledge should enable them to find answers to the question of what can be done to improve state capability in India and design interventions to acknowledge the holistic need to address state capacity in design and management.
The course dives into the following themes:
1) Theory of decentralization and its influence on India's governance model.
2) Tools of public administration, which will explain the workings of Indian state bureaucracy, particularly at the level of implementation.
3) Tools of public finance, which will constitute learning about plans, budgets, and fund flows in key social sector programmes.
4) Tools of social accountability and how their effective application can strengthen the people's voice to demand accountability from the government.
By the end of the course, the participants will be able to:
Build a nuanced understanding of government structures.
Learn why state capability matters in service delivery implementation.
Assess weaknesses and gaps in service delivery implementation based on the foundation of their understanding of state capability.
Learn about the importance and relevance of social accountability.
Apply a systems thinking approach to building state capability at the frontline.