|Dr Gursharan Dhanjal|
It is said that policymaking is both an art and a science. It is a complex business. However, there is often a set guideline to assess the policy. It is mostly seen from the state's perspective, keeping input at the core. SKOCH State of Governance is the only initiative that sees a policy from citizen's perspective. We look beyond the government's way of evaluation. We evaluate the performance of programme and scheme based on evidence keeping in mind its impact on the citizen at the core.
This annual exercise seeks to bridge the fundamental gap in India's policymaking framework. There is often a huge disconnect between policymaking and ground realities. This is despite the fact that we have some of the best and brightest of minds involved in the process. The biggest problem is the absence of independent evaluation system. Ironically, in most cases it is observed that the persons responsible for policymaking are also involved in evaluation. Unsurprisingly, we hardly see any adverse report. Therefore the correct picture is nearly always missed.
Assessments done by the institutions funded by the government like the educational institutions or multilateral agencies also fall short of giving a correct picture. The government funded institutions would hardly give any evidence or data that shows the policymakers in a bad taste. Such institutions work in close conjunction with the government and end up mostly doing circular referencing.
SKOCH State of Governance ranking is based on primary data, grassroots level research, field studies and assessments. This is an independently conducted evaluation of governance in the country since 2003. It covers all the three tiers of government – the centre, states and local bodies. This is what makes SKOCH State of Governance the most awaited governance report in the country's calendar. A report that citizens as well as the governments from top to bottom look for.
I am happy to present this report on the eve of the new decade 2020s with a hope that the best governance practices listed in this edition would inspire and form the basis of even better policies in the years to come.
(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of INCLUSION. Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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