A number of direct lessons have been learned through Phase 1 implementation and various assessments and evaluation carried out as part of preparation and incorporated in Phase 2 design are:
Simple and clear principles (participation, inclusion, transparency, accountability and cost sharing) agreed up-front with communities ensures commitment of key stakeholders.
An implementing agency with flexibility and autonomy to act as “guardian of rules” was critical for testing of new models, quick results and compliance to the rules. This institutional arrangement will be maintained until the capacity and systems to take over the tasks are built within the government institution.
Empower the local communities to drive the priorities and oversight of investments in their communities through simple operational guidelines, processes and procedures codified in the Community Operational Manual.
A community to community services approach is more effective and helps to scale up fast and show quick results. It is fully integrated as part of scaling up strategy for Phase 2.
Capacity building is more effective if it is done through learning by doing, exposure visits and experimental learning. Phase 2 will continue this “learning by doing” approach;
Active participation and leadership of women and youth ensures transparency, sustainability and better targeting. Youth Circles have been especially successful in ensuring ethnic integration and inclusion of ethnic minorities
Community micro-financing activities not only mobilized savings and credit but also set in motion a social process for managing a rural financial institution that is run by the communities themselves. This model would be continued in Phase 2 and further strengthened through building federations and linkages with the banking sector.
Regular, systematic, intensive and skilful use of social accountability tools by communities ensured effective implementation and good governance at the local level.
Need for a convergence in the allocation of resources for infrastructure and livelihood investments both within the VO as well as among the cluster of VOs to optimize benefits.