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Strategies & Approaches of RDIs

Strategies & Approaches of Rural

Development Interventions
RDIs adopt and combine various strategies to
realise their goals .
A strategy may be defined as a mix of policies and
approaches that influence the process and pattern
of outcomes.
Strategy is also a general plan of how best to use
and combine resources and approaches to attain the
given goals.
Strategies of RDIs are formulated based on
political, social and economic ideologies; and
needs of planning and implementation.
Strategies are adopted at different levels and
stages of RDIs and can be broader and
specific in nature. Prominent RD Strategies

I Radical v/s Reformist

II Integrated Rural Development (IRD)
III Convergence Approach
IV Participatory Development
V Direct-Attack Strategy v/s Demand-Based
VI Livelihood Approach
VII Mission Mode
VIII Right-Based Approach
I. Radical v/s Reformist Strategy
Radical Reformist
They are implemented RDIs are implemented
speedily with force and in a routine way and
conviction normal methods
No hesitation to change Existing socio-
existing socio-economic economic structures
and political structures like caste, rich,
and vested interests bureaucracy are not
Tend to go with left & disturbed.
progressive ideology The results are more
The results can be incremental and slow.
II Integrated Rural Development (IRD)
The approach of IRD has been popular in rural
development discourse and practice for a long
period, and continues to remain relevant.

Comes up to counter limitations of isolated and

piecemeal approach to (rural) development

In the context of rural development IRD may be

understood at least in two ways:
a) A Conceptual Framework, and
b) A Method of Project Implementation
a)IRD as a Conceptual Framework
IRD as a concept draws upon multiple theoretical
approaches (Ex. Institutionalism, Gandhi etc.)
which emphasize attaining more holistic and
balanced approach to development

Integrated approach argues that development

problems and solutions to them are not to be seen
in an isolated manner

Developmental problems have historicity, and

are multi-dimensional and interrelated in nature.
Hence do not lend themselves for easy solution
For example: Open defecation is a historical,
social, psychological, ecological & technological
Any solution has to be seen in an interrelated and
coherent (holistic) way.
This would require adopting simultaneously a more
comprehensive and multidimensional approach
at all levels of RDI.

Design and Strategies

Project Implementation
b) IRD as a Project Method:
IRD can be extended up to the level of Programmes
and Projects to ensure their efficiency & success
Project have to arrange for all interrelated and
multidimensional aspects in a coordinated way
This requires to ensure all needed vertical and
horizontal integration or linkages in a project


The linkages can take the form of:

Co-ordination between
Functional diverse departments or
integration: functions like Health and
Drinking Water

Spatial Rural-urban area linkages

integration: Cluster-district-regional linkages

Social Including the target communities

like poor, farmers, women, tribal
integration to participate in the project.
Advantages of IRD
Provides comprehensive framework to understand
and pursue RD

Has potential for balanced & holistic development

Brings in co-ordinated efforts/links for RDIs

Hence ensure success and efficiency of RDIs

IRD is currently getting integrated in newer ways

like Convergence, multi-disciplinary team etc.
Disadvantages of IRD
Difficulty in conceptualising & operationalising

Difficulty in ensuring co-ordination or linkages at

various levels

As true IRD calls for radical measures, it may face

contradictions in a reformist system

But IRD is essential for holistic development

despite the above limitations
III Convergence of RDIs: The New Focus
Recent thrust on Convergence in RDIs

Convergence is nothing but extension of certain

principles of IRD to RDIs for better results

Diverse RD programmes which work as silos or

isolation and hence fail to attain synergy

Convergence can make RDIs complement and

supplement each other
Convergence for Road Making
R R Sy
D D ne
I I rg
1 2
MGNR Metal
EGA Topping
Kachha by
Convergence for Health
D D ne
I I rg
1 2


Asha Health
campaign (Toilets)
Other Examples of Convergence:
- Promotion of Livestock under NRLM + Dairy
Infrastructure (plant/cooler) under RKVY
Convergence can enhance social and economic
outcomes of programmes

Convergence needs effective linkages and

coordination mechanism

However, mere mechanical convergence without

internalising integration may not fully succeed

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