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About ICRG Programme

The goal of Infrastructure for Climate Resilient Growth (ICRG) is to ensure that the poorest and the most vulnerable people are able to tackle impact of climate extremes. Through a better understanding of climate factors and building capacities of field practitioners and improving design of works being taken up, ICRG, will synergise its resources with MGNREGA in building climate resilience of the most vulnerable communities. This will be achieved by improved quality and climate resilient assets under MGNREGA.

The ICRG programme is being implemented by a consortium led by IPE Global comprising of Ricardo Energy and Environment, University of Manchester and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as associates. The civil society partners for Bihar- Change Alliance, Chhattisgarh- Samarthan, Odisha- Janmukti Anusthan, SG Foundation, WOSCA(Women's Foundation for Socio Cultural Awareness, Seba Jagat, Social Organization on Various Aspects, SG Foundation, WOSCA and Lokdrusti respectively. Besides, the programme draws technical support from Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore and Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IITB), Mumbai.

Programme Objectives

  • To strengthen the capacity of the states to ensure stronger local implementation including more capable communities able to undertake improved planning, implementation and monitoring of physical assets under MGNREGS.
  • To enhance capacity of technical organisations (academic institutions, technical engineering institutions, training organizations) and network of technical resource persons (District and Block Technical Resource Teams, Barefoot Technicians for providing effective technical support to existing system of MGNREGA implementation.
  • To strengthen the MGNREGA systems and processes needed to support construction of better quality infrastructure and improved resilience of rural poor, including through development of innovative tools (especially IT based).
  • To generate evidence and share nationally to (a) inform a stronger policy focus on the design and implementation of public works based programmes, and (b) strengthen the evidence base for how better physical assets can build more climate resilient livelihoods.

The first two objectives pertain to states. The third objective pertains to both states and the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, whilst the fourth on evidence and knowledge will target dissemination of project outputs, outcomes and learning within country and outside India for an array of stakeholders such as Governments, Civil Society, academicians, researchers, and practitioners.

International Context

The declaration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) on 1st January 2016 foregrounded climate change concerns in a composite grid of socio-economic and environmental goals. The SDG Goal-13 mentions Climate Action to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity in all countries.

DFID, in partnership with national governments and professional organisations from academic and research fields and from civil society across countries, has been steadily engaged in exploring ways in which national policies and programmes take on dual social and environmental objectives on large scales and simultaneously address challenges of poverty alleviation and environmental impacts.

National Context

India is the third most climate vulnerable country with 60% population vulnerable to climate change primarily due to their livelihood dependence on climate sensitive sectors. Vulnerabilities differ among states, among regions and among different groups of people within the same region due to substantial variations in topography, climatic conditions, ecosystems as well as diversity in its social structures, economic conditions and needs of different communities.

The response of the Government of India to the manifest threats of climate change is articulated through the National Action Plan for Climate Change. Out of the eight National Missions on Climate Change, five mission focus on adaptation in sectors like agriculture, water, forestry, capacity building and knowledge management. Sub-national level climate change plans also focus significantly on adaptation. The states have been asked to prepare State Sustainable Development Plans and are in the process of doing so.

Several flagship programmes funded by the Central Government play a role in meeting the SDGs, of which climate change adaptation is one. These include, inter alia Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme, PMKSY, Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP), National Afforestation Plan (NAP), National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana (RKVY), Skill Development Mission. MGNREGA has been mentioned as a high priority. Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act in India, is designed to tackle both social and environmental objectives.

State Context

The three states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Odisha in India are amongst the most backward and natural disaster prone states. Many among the selected ICRG blocks are highly climate vulnerable with continued depletion of existing natural resources. All three states have prepared the State Action Plan for Climate Change (SAPCC).

The ICRG program covers with an aggregate of 22 districts,103 blocks, 3,890 gram panchayats, 13,391 villages,15,79,660 active job card holders in the three states of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Odisha, who form more than fifty percent of the total number of households in these blocks.